Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What IVF Egg Retrieval Is Like

They retrieved 4 eggs today. A very low number, but one more than they saw on all my monitoring ultrasounds, so I'm happy.

I reported to the clinic today at 8:30, about an hour before my retrieval was scheduled to start. I only waited about 10 minutes in the waiting room before they called me back. My clinic does the retrievals right there in the office but they do have a separate space for the procedure rooms. There was one large room where the nurses congregate with the patient lockers and recovery beds on the left and two procedure rooms on the right.

I was instructed to change into a hospital gown (I was only allowed to keep my socks on) then to lay down on one of the recover beds. The recovery nurse went through a series of questions like "when is the last time you ate. When did you take your ovidrel shot." Then they started an IV with a bag of fluid and gave me a Zofran to try to prevent the nausea that patients often get from the sedation.

They wheeled me across the hall to the procedure room which had a bathroom and asked me to empty my bladder as much as possible. The embryology lab is connected to the procedure room by a small window and before I was moved to the procedure bed, I had to stand in front of the embryology lab and state my name and date of birth to the embryologist who was standing right there in front of tubes labeled with my name. I was relieved that they'll have my eggs clearly identified. The procedure bed is more like a reclining chair with a collapsible bottom. Once on the bed with my legs in the stirrups, They put oxygen in my nose and a blood pressure cuff on my non-IV arm. Then they turned down the light and gave me a dose of something that made me feel very good and very chatty. Within a couple of minutes, my RE came in the room and they started working. They couldn't find anything on my right ovary, even after pressing on my stomach to move things around. My right ovary is only a partial and they always have a hard time finding it. And then they moved to the left. They had given me as much of the Versed and the Fentanyl as they were able to and I was still awake but groggy. I could feel what they were doing and I'm pretty sure I was screaming. At some point I heard the sedation nurse tell my doctor "I can't give her anymore. She's at the max." Still, it wasn't as bad as the HSG I had last year. I heard them say "Gina, we found one they didn't see on ultrasound" which was great.

After they finished, they immediately had me turn over and gave me a progesterone shot on my left side. They transferred me back to the recovery bed, wheeled me back over to the other side of the room and let me lay there for a few minutes. They asked me to drink some ginger ale and eat a few crackers to see if I was going to be nauseous. I wasn't. Thank goodness! I believe I was in recovery for about an hour and they brought my husband back a few minutes before they let me leave. They also gave me Tylenol right before I left because I was already starting to feel pretty crampy.

Walking to the car was kind of scary. I felt pretty wobbly. I came home and slept for 3 hours. Right now I do have some cramping and I do feel a little groggy but I feel much better than I thought I would. All in all the procedure wasn't that bad.

I'll hear from the embryologist tomorrow with a fertilization report. I sure hope they all fertilize and are beautiful embryos.


  1. Yikes! Screaming doesn't sound good but I'll take your word for it that it was a positive experience. I think my clinic puts you out completely, although I have to admit, I've been toting with the idea of skipping the anesthesia to save money. I heard not all clinics use it and it's an extra $775 that isn't covered by insurance.

    Thanks so much for posting this--it really helps me in terms of knowing what to expect. Here's hoping for a great fert report!

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