I’m writing this post the day-of my egg retrieval for IVF. If you’re reading this post, you’re probably about to undergo an egg retrieval yourself. Before my ER, I was searching high and low for stories on the internet about what to expect. Truthfully, this is the most nerve-wracking part of IVF.
In this post I’m going to be talking about what to expect after egg retrieval, egg retrieval recovery, as well as egg retrieval side effects.
Please note: I had my Egg Retrieval on April 11, 2019. You can find our entire journey documented on my YouTube Channel!
More IVF Posts You’ll Love:
- 6 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting IVF
- 5 Must-Have Items for IVF Egg Retrieval
- 5 Things To Do After Embryo Transfer To Increase Success
- How Long Does an IVF Cycle Take?
What is Egg Retrieval?
Egg Retrieval is a surgical procedure where doctors will extract fluid from mature follicles to retrieve the egg that may be inside.
The procedure itself is done within 10-30min and you are put to sleep during the process.
What to Expect During IVF Egg Retrieval
Tuesday night, I was instructed to take the Novarel trigger shot. The trigger shot is an HCG-filled shot that tells your body to mature the eggs you have produced during the stimulation phase of IVF and to release them (via Ovulation).
After the trigger shot, the egg retrieval procedure is scheduled to be performed within 36 hours of the time the shot is administered. Mine was scheduled for Thursday morning.
This is a very time-sensitive part of the journey because the body usually ovulates within 36-40 hours after the trigger shot is administered.
What Happens Before Surgery
I arrived at the fertility clinic at 8:45am and waited for another blood draw. Once that test was done, I was waiting in the surgery area for my name to be called. Once called, I was taken to the back and my husband was instructed to wait in the lobby.
In the back, the nurse started to prep me for the procedure. This included general health tests and any prior surgery experience with anesthesia. She then had me dress into a hospital gown, booties, and put my hair into a net. I was sitting in a pre-op area with another patient (separated by a cloth curtain) and hooked up to an IV with saline.
Once all the vitals were checked and my IV was set, they brought my husband in to sit with me for several minutes before they were ready to bring me into the OR.
I met with the anesthesiologist who explained what was going to happen during the procedure, answered any questions I had, and was off. The doctor who would be performing the procedure then came in, introduced herself, and explained what she was going to do during the procedure.
She explained that the vagina would be washed with a saline solution before any operation began, then they would use a sonogram to navigate a needle into the ovaries to extract the eggs. It sounds scary, but you’re asleep during the whole thing!
Egg Retrieval Procedure
When they brought me back to the OR, I had to confirm my information to the embryologist. They laid me onto a table and marked my chest with electrodes to monitor my vitals. My legs were placed in stirrups and I could feel the doctor cleaning my lady-bits with saline.
The anesthesiologist then said that the anesthesia was being administered. From there, I don’t remember a thing other than feeling very sleepy. I did have a dream (I don’t remember the details of it) but I remember asking the anesthesiologist if it were normal to dream while put under (LOL!)
What to Expect After Egg Retrieval
Waking up from surgery was pretty normal. My abdomen was feeling tight and I felt cramping in the lower abdomen area. The nurse would check on me periodically to check for pain levels, nausea, or dizziness.
I was in post-op for about 30 minutes before she sat me up and allowed me to get dressed into my normal clothes I wore to the clinic.
After that, we met with the embryologist to discuss how many eggs were retrieved. I went over all the details in my vlog on my YouTube channel.
Egg Retrieval Recovery Time
Expect to rest the day of egg retrieval. There’s no set time on how long to rest after egg retrieval. Your body just had a invasive procedure done and your ovaries will definitely be angry for a little bit. Prepare for lots of laying down, Netflix, and relaxing. Be sure to check out my Must Have Things for Egg Retrieval.
I felt normal the next day aside from cramping and some abdominal tightness.
Overall, it’s not a procedure that you need extreme downtime for. Most women are back to work the next day!
What Happens After Egg Retrieval
You will find out how many eggs were collected after surgery. From there, it’s a waiting game to find out how many had fertilized and which ones make to day 5 (blastocyst).
Many clinics have different protocols on when they give updates. My clinic called us the next day to tell us how many had fertilized, then again 3 days after retrieval to give us an update, and again 5 days after egg retrieval.
Tips for Egg Retrieval
If you want to read up on my tips for Egg Retrieval, be sure to check out my 5 Must Have Things for IVF Egg Retrieval.