After an egg donor applies, gets accepted and matched with a family, the egg retrieval process can begin. The procedure is quick and typically painless, and you won’t even be in our office a full day for us to retrieve your eggs. We work to give you as much information about the methods of egg retrieval upfront, so there are no surprises during the procedure. We encourage you to ask any questions you might have as you help give the beautiful gift of a new child.
Leading up to Egg Retrieval
Before we can retrieve your eggs, you will self-administer injections of a medication that will sync your cycle with the egg recipient’s. You will also give yourself daily injections of a medication that will stimulate your ovaries to help you produce more than one egg per cycle. We will monitor your progress throughout this process, and perform an ultrasound to know when your eggs have sufficiently developed.
How Do They Retrieve Eggs for Donation?
Once the ultrasound shows that you’re ready for egg retrieval, you will self-administer another injection that triggers ovulation. About two days later, you will come into the office for the actual retrieval. The process involves the following:
- You’ll be sedated with an I.V. and pain medication.
- An ultrasound probe will be inserted vaginally to find your egg follicles.
- A thin needle is then inserted vaginally and guided by ultrasound into the egg follicles to retrieve your eggs.
- A suction device connected to that needle removes multiple eggs in about 20 minutes.
If we can’t access your ovaries with a vaginal ultrasound, then the second method of egg retrieval is an abdominal surgery or laparoscopy. During this procedure, a very small incision is made near your navel, and we insert a laparoscope to guide the needle.
After we retrieve your eggs, we incubate mature ones and mix the healthy ones with sperm to create embryos for our clients. It’s the most exciting part of the whole procedure — getting to see if your efforts result in a pregnancy for our client or surrogate.
Is Egg Retrieval for IVF Painful?
While this procedure can seem complicated and painful, it’s minimally invasive. You shouldn’t feel any pain or discomfort throughout the egg retrieval process. Some egg donors experience soreness, abdominal cramping or spotting after the procedure, which could last for a few days. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help with these side effects. Most women feel totally normal by the next day.
Before you go to the procedure, check with Western Fertility Institute or the fertility clinic you’re working with about any requirements for aftercare. For example, we require that a friend or family member accompany you home from the egg retrieval process. We also recommend that you go home and rest, even if you feel up to going back to work.
Become an Egg Donor Today
Becoming an egg donor can change a family’s life forever. Contact us today to learn more about helping someone bring a beautiful child into the world.