The Egg Retrieval Procedure

The Egg Retrieval Procedure at NYU Langone RSNY

Egg retrieval is the final step in the ovarian stimulation process and is the culmination of both the IVF and Egg Freezing cycle. Once eggs are retrieved they can be used to create embryos immediately or frozen for future use. Whichever option you choose, you can trust the team at NYU Langone Reproductive Specialists of New York to provide personalized care to help you reach your family building goals.

Ahead of Retrieval - Ovarian Stimulation

During your ovarian stimulation cycle, you will be prescribed fertility medications which stimulate your ovaries to mature multiple eggs. When your doctor determines you are ready, you will be prescribed your trigger shot protocol. This trigger shot tells your eggs to mature and release ahead of retrieval. The trigger shot must be precisely timed, so your care team will give you a specific time to administer the shot and your retrieval will take place approximately 35 hours later.

The Egg Retrieval Procedure

The morning of your scheduled procedure, remember you cannot eat or drink within 6 hours of your egg retrieval. If directed by your care team, please take any necessary medications with a small sip of water. When preparing for your retrieval, plan to come as are - please do not wear make-up, jewelry, or bring any valuables to your procedure.

Once you arrive and check in at our Mineola clinic, our nursing team will perform an intake evaluation and prepare you for your egg retrieval. You will meet the anesthesiologist and the doctor performing the procedure before receiving intravenous sedation. The egg retrieval itself takes about 15-20 minutes and you will be under anesthesia for the duration of the procedure.

During your egg retrieval, the doctor performing the procedure will pass a needle through the vaginal wall to the ovary using ultrasound guidance. The follicular fluid collected is passed to the embryologists who then examine your eggs under a microscope.

Recovery typically takes about an hour, however each patient is different and recovery may take longer for some. During your recovery, you will rest with blankets, water, and a light snack. Before leaving the recovery area, you will be evaluated for pain and given post-operative instructions.

Because you will receive anesthesia, you must be discharged to the care of a responsible adult who will escort you home safely and remain with you for 24 hours. This safely measure is mandated by NYU Langone Medical Center and The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities. If you do not have access to an escort, there are services you can use if needed. If you do not have an escort we will be unable to perform your retrieval.

Recovery After Your Procedure

Each patient experiences and responds to the egg retrieval procedure and anesthesia differently. Mild to moderate cramping for a few hours directly following the procedure is typical, and some patients choose to take oral pain medication following their discharge from the clinic. Plan on spending the remainder of the day resting at home. While some patients recover quickly, others may take a few days to feel like themselves again.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Each patient can expect a different number of eggs based on factors like age and ovarian reserve. Your doctor will monitor your follicular growth during ovarian stimulation and will have an idea of how many eggs you can expect, but will not know the exact number of eggs until after retrieval.

  • Once eggs are retrieved, they are assessed for maturity by our embryology team at RSNY. If you are freezing your eggs, our lab will use vitrification to freeze your eggs before storing them until you are ready to use them. If you are creating embryos, you eggs will be combined with sperm for fertilization.

  • No. Your period should occur 10-12 days after your retrieval, and afterwards, the return of your normal menstrual cycle.

  • You will be sedated during the procedure itself and will thus be unable to feel anything. Following the egg retrieval, you may experience mild cramping, typically treatable with over-the-counter pain medication. Feeling slightly groggy, lightheaded, or nauseated for a few hours until the effects of the anesthesia have fully worn off is also normal.

  • Ahead of receiving anesthesia, do not eat or drink anything for 6 hours before your scheduled retrieval.

    Following your procedure, rest and hydration are your friends! Until you feel 100%, avoid strenuous activity or operating heavy machinery.

Start your family building journey today!

We have appointments available at our Mineola and Brooklyn locations.
We look forward to developing a plan to help you start or expand your family.

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