Complications of egg collection from an ovary or ovaries

The egg collection is a rather safe medical procedure; however, one cannot rule out the potential occurrence of complications such as e.g. bleeding, abdominal pain and pelvic pain, infections, injuries of internal organs, adhesions, anesthetic complications. The procedure of egg collection can also end in failure (e.g. absence or insufficient number of egg cells for collection).


During the procedure, first the vaginal wall and then ovaries are punctured with a needle for the purpose of egg collection. All these structures contain small blood vessels with neighboring major blood vessels. Therefore, slight bleeding accompanying the egg collection procedure is absolutely normal. However, one cannot exclude the possibility of major bleeding which are observed in no more than 0.1% of cases. Major bleeding may require surgical intervention and in very rare cases necessitate the surgical removal of the ovary. In such cases, blood transfusion may be necessary. (The review of the documentation relating to egg collection procedures in the medical centers worldwide suggests that there have been in the past single cases of undiagnosed bleeding which in the effect led to the patient’s death).

Abdominal pain

After the procedure, the patient can feel abdominal pain or discomfort in the abdominal area.


Infections can be caused if the bacteria normally present in vagina are incidentally transferred to the abdominal cavity with the needle used to puncture the vaginal wall. These bacteria can cause the infections of urinary bladder, ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus or other organs in the abdominal cavity as well as the infection of peritoneum. Confirmed infections may require antibiotic therapy. In extremely rare cases, infection may require surgical intervention. In order to prevent infections, the procedure is often preceded by antibiotic prophylaxis. However, prophylactic antibiotic therapy does not eliminate totally the risk of infections. The risk of infectious complications is less than 0.5%.

Injury of other organs

Although the ovarian puncture is performed under ultrasound control, in extremely rare cases organs in abdominal cavity can be injured. The literature reports the cases of injuries to urinary bladder, intestine, ureters, ovary. In such cases, a surgery can prove necessary to repair the injured organ or even remove it. These are, however, extremely rare cases.


The egg collection procedure may lead to the formation of adhesions within organs located in the abdominal cavity.

Anesthetic complications

The application of anesthetics can cause the feeling of being unwell, allergic reactions, decreased blood pressure, nausea, vomiting. The literature has noted also extremely rare fatal cases.

Failure of the egg collection procedure

It is possible that no eggs will be collected in the result of the procedure, or the collected eggs can be abnormal or have poor quality.

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Published: 3 November 2015 Updated: 31 March 2017