- Eggs are collected with a special needle and under ultrasound guidance
- Anesthesia performed by an anesthesiologist makes the procedure comfortable for the patient
- There is little risk of complications, including a very uncommon risk of infection

Before the procedure of egg collection

The patient is qualified to the anesthesia for the procedure of egg collection by an anesthesiologist. The visit with the anesthesiologist is obligatory and should take place several days before the procedure. Before the visit, it is necessary to carry out several tests assessing the patient’s overall health condition. At the visit, the anesthesiologist examines the information about the health condition of the patient and then, together with the patient, decides on the type of anesthesia. During the visit, the anesthesiologist carries out the interview and signs with the patient the declaration of consent to the anesthesia.

The patient should arrive for the procedure fasting, about 30 minutes before the appointed time of the puncture. Before the procedure of egg collection, the patient should not eat anything for 6 hours and not drink any liquids for at least four hours. Furthermore, for 6 hours before the procedure, she shouldn’t take medications (except for those taken in chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, thyroid diseases, heart diseases, when she can take them with water 4 hours before the procedure).

After the patient has reported for the procedure, a brief interview is carried out concerning the current health condition of the patient and her partner (all problems, including fever, diarrhea, vomiting and feeling unwell, should be reported). Furthermore, a blood sample is collected from the patient for basic tests such as blood count, and a special needle (peripheral venous catheter) is introduced into the patient’s vein for the purpose of drug or fluid administration later on.

Immediately before the procedure, the patient should go to the restroom, as the full bladder can make the puncture difficult.

If the general intravenous anesthesia was chosen, the anesthesia for the procedure will begin immediately after the intravenous drug administration. Falling asleep is quick and pleasant; waking up looks similarly.

During this time, the patient’s partner collects semen which is needed to fertilize the eggs.

Procedure of egg collection

The procedure of egg collection is carried out 34 to 38 hours after hCG administration.

During the procedure, the patient remains under the care of the anesthesiologist who ensures that her vital function remain within normal range, while the procedure itself is carried out by a gynecologist.

The procedure lasts from several minutes to 0.5 hour. The procedure is performed under local or general intravenous anesthesia, in ambulatory settings.

During the procedure, fluid containing egg cells is aspirated with a thin, long needle through vaginal fornix from the follicles in ovaries, under ultrasound guidance (using vaginal probe). The ultrasound guidance enables the visualization of the ovaries and follicles which contain eggs, as well as the tip of the needle which can be introduced precisely into every follicle, and the follicular fluid can be successfully collected.

Usually, egg cells are obtained from over 80% of follicles.

In the course of egg collection, the doctor can check the patency of the cervical canal which is important for further embryo transfer. The procedure of egg collection is usually painless.

After the procedure of egg collection

After a short rest (usually not longer than 2 to 4 hours), the patient regains her psychomotor skills and may go home. She should be collected from the Clinic by the accompanying person and stay under his or her care for the next 24 hours. If travelling home is onerous and takes a long time, it is not recommended. Patients who live further than 50 kilometers from the Clinic, patients after previous procedures on ovaries, and those from whom over 15 egg cells were collected are required to stay in the vicinity of the Clinic for at least 24 hours from the procedure. After the procedure, the patient can eat solid and liquid food; she shouldn’t drive mechanical vehicles or take important decisions.

Before leaving the Clinic, the patient is discharged by the doctor, and a nurse or a midwife removes the peripheral venous catheter. After the procedure, the patient may complain of thirst and dry mouth (these are symptoms related to the administered medications) and of lower abdominal pain; in rare cases, nausea and vomiting may occur. In case of lower abdominal pain, the patient can take analgesics like paracetamol or metamizole.

In case of any worrying symptoms (strong abdominal pain, fever, fainting, bleeding from reproductive tract), the patient should immediately contact the Clinic or the nearest gynecology department.

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Published: 3 November 2015 Updated: 31 March 2017