Are You Ready For Egg Retrieval?

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a multi-layered approach to treating fertility. The process brought hope for millions of couples and singles hoping to become parents. IVF involves extracting eggs and sperm, creating an embryo, and implanting the new cells in the uterus. Egg retrieval, one of the early steps in IVF, can be stressful and raise many questions. Here’s what to expect during the process and some helpful tips to increase the chances of success.

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Assessment and medication

A fertility clinic or reproductive endocrinologist must first assess the hopeful patient. These tests include reproductive scans, hormone tests, and overall health. Once the doctor confirms the woman can try IVF, the egg retrieval process begins. During ovulation, the ovaries produce 1 or 2 mature eggs. With IVF, the goal is to develop as many mature eggs as possible. To achieve this, most women will need to take hormone medication. The medication starts within the first 2 days of a woman’s natural cycle. The patient will receive follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), which controls the growth of eggs and menstruation.

Monitoring appointments

Fertility medication happens over 10 days. During this time, there will be at least one appointment to monitor key statistics. Using ultrasound and blood tests, the clinic will measure follicle size, hormone levels, and the endometrium lining. Once the eggs are close ready, the clinic will administer a gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist. The hormone starts the final part of egg maturation without completing the ovulation process. Fully ovulated eggs will rupture and cannot be retrieved. Once the eggs are ready, the egg retrieval process can happen.

Let’s grab some eggs

Egg retrieval sounds scary, but the process is non-invasive and takes just a few minutes. About 10 to 12 days after hormone medication, the woman would visit the clinic for the procedure. First, the doctor will place the patient under general anesthesia. An ultrasound probe will then help to locate the ovaries and follicles. Using a catheter through the vaginal wall, the doctor extracts the follicles. Once the extraction is over, the patient will be moved into recovery. The follicles are labeled and sent to the embryologist’s lab for testing and to develop into embryos.

Make egg retrieval more successful

Following the medication regimen should ensure a successful retrieval. During the process, the fertility clinic will advise the approximate number of eggs. However, there are some steps to make the process even more successful. For starters, a healthy diet and moderate exercise can improve egg quality. The period can also be stressful, so use stress-relieving techniques and self-care as much as possible. Supplements like folate, CoQ10, and vitamin D can help with egg production and quality. Make sure to follow all of the doctor’s recommendations on the day of retrieval and beyond.

Get the best eggs for IVF

Egg retrieval is a critical step in IVF. Hormone medication at the right time will increase the number and quality of eggs. Staying healthy and stress-free can improve the process as well. With healthy, mature eggs, the clinic can produce healthy mature embryos, which increases the chances of success. Doctors recommend that patients raise any concerns and symptoms to ensure the best experience possible.

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