IVF Process Step by Step: Egg Retrieval

Step 3: Egg Retrieval

Egg retrieval in vitro fertilization (IVF)

Following your infertility diagnosis and testing and your ovarian stimulation process, the third step in the IVF process is the egg retrieval.

The egg retrieval process

  1. We start with the administration of a large dose of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This starts the ovulatory process which is required for egg maturation.
  2. The egg retrieval is then typically performed in our operating room at our office, under anesthesia, 35 to 38 hours after hCG administration.
  3. While you are asleep, an ultrasound is put in the vagina and a needle is guided along the ultrasound into each follicle (pocket of fluid) in the ovary.Egg retrieval in vitro fertilization (IVF)
  4. With low grade suction each egg is removed.
  5. The fluid is handed to the embryologist who then searches through the fluid to identify the eggs and prepare them for fertilization.
  6. You will then “wake up” in the recovery room wondering if your physician was ever there. At that time you will know how many eggs were removed. You will be a little sleepy from the anesthesia for the next hour and will have some minor pelvic cramping.

Next: Embryo Fertilization and Culture

Quick Links to the 5 Step IVF Process:

  1. Infertility Diagnosis and Testing
  2. Ovarian Stimulation
  3. Egg Retrieval
  4. Fertilization and Culture
  5. Embryo Transfer