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5 Things to Know at Egg Retrieval Time

Donating eggs to support the cause of infertile women is a noble outreach, and it’s also a smart way to make extra money to fund your college degree, pay off debt, or boost the down payment on your future home. So whether you are still “thinking about it, but not quite sure…,” or are already in the application process, odds are you’re interested in learning more about the egg retrieval process.

5 Things to Know & Expect When It’s Time for Your Egg Retrieval

There are five key things to know or expect when you’re ready to have your eggs retrieved.

1. The hardest part is behind you

On the day of your egg retrieval, you will have completed an approximately 10 days of fertility hormone injections… the same ones used for women undergoing IVF to aid in follicular development.  Your ovaries will be hyper-stimulated for a short period but will go back to normal by your first menstrual period following retrieval. 

The primary side effects felt when close to retrieval are bloating and ovarian tenderness, but symptoms will ease almost immediately once your retrieval procedure is completed.  Although exercise and heavy lifting should be kept to a minimum for a week, you should feel completely back to normal within 3-5 days post retrieval.

2. It takes less than 30 minutes

The hormone stimulation process takes approximately 10 – 12 days in which injectable medications will be utilized to promote follicular growth.    The egg retrieval is a minimally invasive procedure, requiring no incisions or stitches, and will not cause any scarring.

The follicular aspiration is simple and straightforward.  The entire procedure takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish.  A mild anesthesia is provided so that no discomfort is felt during the egg retrieval.

3. You will be going home same day

When finished, you may feel mild cramping and experience minimal spotting. You may also experience residual bloating, which will go away as the fertility medications leave your system. You will receive a prescribed pain medication prior to being released, and any further mild discomfort you may experience can be treated using over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen.

4. You’ll want to rest following your retrieval

Following your procedure, you will be instructed to rest for the remainder of the day.  We always recommend using this time to sleep or watch your favorite movies in the comfort of your bed. 

Although you will be able to go to work or school the day after your retrieval, you’ll want to keep strenuous activity to a minimum for a week.  It’s always a good idea to “listen” to your body.

5. Rest assured: your future fertility is intact

Now, it’s your time to enjoy the fact that your eggs are helping to make a family’s dream come true. They will be forever grateful to you, and you will always hold a special place in their hearts.

In the meantime, you can rest assured that your future fertility is safeguarded. The eggs retrieved will not affect your fertility if and when you decide to have children of your own.

Do you have questions about the egg donation process or whether it is the right decision for you? Contact the Donor Egg Network, and we’ll walk you through it.