Egg Retrieval

The egg retrieval process helps make family-building dreams come true

Egg retrieval is an important part of many fertility treatments, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), egg freezing and egg donation. Whether you’re trying to start a family, freeze your eggs or donate your eggs to help others, the procedure is the same at our Orange County fertility clinic.

To prepare for this procedure, you have taken injectable fertility medications, our team has closely monitored you and the egg-containing follicles in your ovaries have matured. After all of this, it’s time to start the egg retrieval process.

What to expect during the egg retrieval process

About 35 hours before the procedure, you will receive a shot of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) to induce final maturation of the eggs. Then, you will come to our Orange County fertility clinic for egg retrieval. Ultrasound-guided egg aspiration is the most common method for egg retrieval. You will be under light sedation during this 15 to 30 minute procedure.

Robert Anderson MD will insert a thin needle that is attached to a guide through the vaginal wall. Once he visualizes the ovary, he uses the needle to puncture each follicle and gently aspirates the fluid that contains the egg into a collection tube. Sometimes, a follicle doesn’t have an egg, so the number of follicles and eggs retrieved may differ. Once all the eggs are retrieved, Dr. Anderson will ensure that there is not any bleeding before transferring you to the recovery room.

What happens after egg retrieval?

  • You will spend about an hour in the recovery room before being discharged.
  • You may experience mild menstrual-like cramps or discomfort that you can treat with an over-the-counter pain reliever like Tylenol.
  • You can expect to have light vaginal bleeding or spotting that may last one to three days.
  • You should take it easy for the rest of the day.

After the egg retrieval procedure, an embryologist will examine your eggs in the lab for our Orange County fertility clinic to determine which ones have the best chance of being fertilized. These healthy eggs are combined with sperm for fertilization, donated or frozen for later use, depending on your unique situation.

Contact us for an appointment to learn more about egg retrieval at our Orange County fertility clinic.