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Egg Retrieval

After patients undergo controlled ovarian hyperstimulation to produce eggs, IVF egg retrieval (sometimes referred to as IVF egg harvesting) is performed under intravenous sedation anesthesia by physician anesthesiologist in our Surgical Center. A sterile vaginal ultrasound probe is used to guide a needle through the vaginal wall and into the follicle of the ovary. While long, the needle is not much wider than a needle used to draw blood from a vein in the arm.

Once the needle is inside the follicle, suction is created which pulls the egg and the fluid through the needle and into a collection tube. When one follicle is drained, the needle is gently repositioned to collect fluid from each adjacent follicle. This is done for both ovaries. The follicular fluid is given to the embryologist, who examines it under a microscope to find the eggs. The entire egg retrieval procedure takes approximately 20 minutes. After one hour of observation in the recovery room, patients are allowed to return to their home or hotel.

After IVF egg harvesting is complete, egg fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) procedures can take place.