No. Egg retrieval is not painful because the patient is sedated during aspiration surgery and pain medication is typically also administered. Egg retrieval surgery is performed either under anesthesia, so pain during the procedure is not experienced by the patient. Although some cramping and bleeding will be experienced post-aspiration surgery, an over-the-counter pain reliever – such as Tylenol or Advil – will suffice to alleviate the patient’s discomfort.
Egg retrieval can be done in your doctor's office or a clinic 34 to 36 hours after an ovulation trigger medication (hCG injection) is self-administered by the patient before ovulation.
- During egg retrieval, you'll be sedated and given pain medication
- Transvaginal ultrasound aspiration is the usual retrieval method
- An ultrasound probe is inserted into your vagina to identify egg follicles
- Then, a thin needle is inserted into an ultrasound guide to go through the vagina and into the follicles to retrieve the eggs
- The eggs are removed from the follicles through a needle connected to a suction device. Multiple eggs can be removed in about 20 minutes.
- After egg retrieval, you may experience cramping and feelings of fullness or pressure
- Mature eggs are placed in a nutritive liquid (culture medium) and incubated
- Eggs that appear healthy and mature will be mixed with sperm in a culturing dish – or – directly injected with a single sperm (ICSI)
Embryo transfer is done at your doctor's office or a clinic and usually takes place two to six days after egg retrieval.
- You might be given a mild sedative. The procedure is usually painless, although you might experience mild cramping.
- The doctor or nurse will insert a long, thin, flexible tube called a catheter into your vagina, through your cervix and into your uterus.
- A syringe containing one or more embryos suspended in a small amount of fluid is attached to the end of the catheter.
- Using the syringe, the doctor or nurse places the embryo or embryos into your uterus.
If successful, an embryo will implant in the lining of your uterus about six to 10 days after egg retrieval.
After the embryo transfer, you can resume your normal daily activities except for strenuous exercise and heavy lifting. Your ovaries may still be enlarged. Consider avoiding vigorous activity, which could cause discomfort.
Typical side effects include:
- Passing a small amount of clear or bloody fluid shortly after the procedure — due to the swabbing of the cervix before the embryo transfer
- Breast tenderness due to high estrogen levels
- Mild bloating
- Mild cramping
If you develop moderate or severe pain after the embryo transfer, contact your doctor. He or she will evaluate you for complications such as infection or OHSS.
IVF Egg Retrieval Specialists
It is important to work with a fertility care team having the experience required to design a customized IVF treatment plan meeting your personal needs. To schedule your initial consultation with one of the world renowned fertility specialists at New Hope Fertility NYC, click the icon below – or – call 917.525.5496.