Egg retrieval is an important step in the egg freezing process
To help women preserve their fertility, Fertility Answers offers a procedure known as egg freezing, or oocyte cryopreservation. There are many reasons why a woman might want to wait to have a child, and this procedure allows them to preserve eggs for when they are ready to become pregnant.
After a woman decides to proceed with freezing her eggs at one of our Louisiana fertility centers, she will take injectable fertility medications to stimulate her ovaries to produce multiple eggs. Then, when the time is right, her fertility specialist will perform egg retrieval.
Egg retrieval for egg freezing is the same procedure used for IVF
The first few steps of the egg freezing process are identical to the first stages of in vitro fertilization, IVF. A woman will take hormone medications to stimulate egg production in the ovaries – the goal of egg freezing is to retrieve as many healthy eggs as possible. While taking the medications, a physician will monitor the patient to determine the right time to perform egg retrieval.
One of the physicians from our Louisiana fertility centers will perform egg retrieval using a procedure called transvaginal ultrasound aspiration. Before the procedure, the patient will be sedated to ensure that she feels no pain or discomfort.
- Once the procedure begins, the fertility specialist will insert an ultrasound probe into the vagina to identify the egg-containing follicles.
- After the fertility specialist finds the follicles, he or she will guide a small needle through the vagina and into each follicle. There is a suction device that is connected to the needle and it is used to remove the egg from each follicle.
Egg retrieval typically takes 15 to 20 minutes. During that time, the fertility specialist will hope to remove multiple eggs from the follicles while the embryologist is simultaneously attending to the preservation and analysis of the eggs.
It’s important to know what to expect during and after egg retrieval
The physicians at our Louisiana fertility centers are committed to helping women through every step of the egg freezing process. As part of this commitment, our fertility specialists explain what happens during and after egg retrieval.
Additionally, when the ovaries produce multiple eggs, they become enlarged. This can cause feelings of pressure or fullness. However, these feelings will fade in a few weeks once the ovaries are no longer enlarged. After egg retrieval, some women experience cramping.
If you are interested in pausing your biological clock with egg freezing, please contact Fertility Answers to schedule an appointment. Our team of knowledgeable and caring reproductive endocrinologists is committed to providing proactive fertility care.