STAGE 6 Egg collection

  • About 34-40 hours after your trigger shot, egg collection is carried out (just before ovulation).
  • A needle is attached to an ultrasound probe and placed through the vagina. Eggs are taken from follicles of each ovary and placed into their own test tube. It’s a minor surgical procedure that requires minimal sedation or light anaesthetic and takes 10-20 minutes.
  • The day after egg retrieval you will begin taking progesterone which prepares the lining of the uterus (endometrium) to allow a fertilised egg (embryo) to stick or implant. If a pregnancy does not take place, you will have your period. If an embryo implants into the lining of the uterus, the ovary will produce progesterone until eight weeks into the pregnancy. However, the body may require further progesterone supplements to retain the pregnancy, to be tested and advised by your doctor, for up to 12 weeks. After that time, progesterone will be produced by the placenta throughout the rest of the pregnancy.
  • The IVF process can cause some women to produce inadequate amounts of progesterone, so you will take it on a daily basis.

Side effects of progesterone and egg collection

  • If you experience some abdominal or pelvic pain, don’t panic as it’s not unusual. Ease the pain with a hot water bottle or painkillers. If the pain is severe or won’t stop, talk to your doctor.
  • You may experience some bleeding for a few days after egg collection, so wear panty liners. It shouldn’t be much and the colour should be dark red or brown. If the colour is bright red, or you are bleeding profusely, talk to your doctor immediately. You may also experience bloating and constipation.
  • Because of all the drugs you’ve been taking, you may feel nauseous and be sick after egg collection. It should ease off and disappear after 24 hours, but if it persists, let your doctor know.
  • Do rest for the first 24 hours after surgery and avoid heavy work. Get your partner or someone close to you to stay with you for the first day.

Sperm collection

  • Your partner’s sperm will be collected for fertilisation with the egg. It’s usually collected on the same day or just before. Your clinic will advise you.
  • The sperm needs to be produced at the clinic. It can be difficult as there’s so much pressure to perform. One answer is to freeze sperm in advance, then thaw it on the day of the fertilisation.
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