Stimulating drugs often activate an IVF treatment or egg-freezing, egg retrieval process. Women typically begin taking these drugs on days two to four of their menstrual cycle and continue doing so for the subsequent ten days. A baseline appointment is recommended for a woman with no regular cycle so that hormone, follicular, and endometrial levels can be measured.

The follicular and egg development rates determine the precise length of time the drugs are taken and the day of the egg retrieval. At each consultation, we measure follicle size, endometrial thickness, and hormone levels with ultrasound and bloodwork to get a complete picture of your reproductive health.

Egg retrieval occurs 35 hours after the initial trigger shot (Lupron or HCG) is administered, which encourages the final maturation of the eggs and induces ovulation. Of course, with egg freezing or in vitro fertilization, it is vital to remove the eggs before they are fully ovulated. When a woman ovulates, the egg is released from the follicle and travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus. So, the best time to get the eggs is right before they move to the oviduct to be fertilized. Then, the eggs are ready to be fertilized but are still inside the follicles. For this reason, you should set four alarms on your phone to ensure that you remember to take the trigger shot exactly when your reproductive care team tells you to.

You should also know that the “trigger day” can be moved up or back depending on how the follicles are growing when you are being monitored. If it is removed, treatment with FSH and an antagonist drug (Antagon, sold under Cetrotide and Ganirelix) can be kept going until the follicles are big enough to be triggered. Since this is the case, keeping an open mind during the IVF treatment stimulation period is vital.

Preparing for Egg Retrieval and Embryo Transfer During IVF Treatments
Preparing for Egg Retrieval and Embryo Transfer During IVF Treatments

Procedure preparation:

Doing the things you should and shouldn’t do to maximize the number and quality of eggs you retrieve in the days leading up to your retrieval is essential. What you do in the three months leading up to an event is far more consequential than what you do the night before. Fecundity can be increased with the help of acupuncture, a high-fat fertility diet, and vitamin supplements.

On the day of your appointment, try to take it easy, maintain an upbeat attitude, and leave yourself plenty of time to go to the clinic without rushing.

However, you must strictly adhere to the post-operative care guidelines provided by your medical team, as egg retrieval is a surgical procedure. To be ready for your egg retrieval operation, you will likely be given a list of instructions or measures to take.


To dress in clothes that are easy to put on and take off

Typically, it helps if you arrive an hour before retrieval begins.

You should make sure you have a way to go home after your egg retrieval procedure. Having a family member or close friend with you is ideal, but alternative transportation options are possible. It’s not allowed for you to get in your car and drive yourself home.


Only consume something by mouth after midnight on the day of your surgery.

Don’t use any scented products other than deodorant on the day of the egg retrieval surgery.

Soon after check-in, you’ll be given a robe or hospital gown and brought to one of the operating rooms. When you arrive in the operating room, you’ll have blood drawn, fill out paperwork, and meet with fertility doctors, anesthesiologists, surgeons, and embryologists.

The nurse will next attach you to several monitors so that your heart rate, blood pressure, and other vitals may be tracked closely before, during, and after the treatment.


In the first step of the egg retrieval process, the anesthesiologist gives a small dose of sedation through an IV. Anesthesiologists prefer MAC (monitored anesthesia care) instead of general anesthesia for egg retrievals. MAC allows for deep sedation without an endotracheal tube (which is used to make sure the patient can breathe during surgery) and a much faster recovery time than general anesthesia.

After putting you to sleep, your fertility doctor will use an ultrasound machine with a probe to find your ovarian follicles.

Fluid from the follicles that contains eggs is collected by gently sucking it into test tubes that have your name and medical identification number on them. Fluid from the follicles that contains eggs is collected by gently sucking it into test tubes that have your name and medical ID number on them.

Within hours of collection, your eggs will have been delivered to the IVF treatment lab, where an embryologist will find, isolate, and deposit your eggs in a medium to continue developing for a few hours before being frozen or fertilized.

Locating and collecting eggs takes only approximately 5–15 minutes. Cuts aren’t made, and you won’t need sutures. Because of the anesthetic, you shouldn’t feel or remember anything during the actual egg retrieval procedure.

When the retrieval is done, you will be gradually brought out of anesthesia and taken to a recovery room, where you will remain under close observation. You’ll be able to go home after roughly 30 minutes of recovery and 5-10 minutes of waking up from the anesthesia.

One of the fertility doctors will let you know how many eggs were recovered before you leave. Before you leave, you will be taken care of if you have any last questions or need painkillers.

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