What Will My Egg Retrieval & Recovery Be Like?

Egg donation is a selfless act that helps hopeful families create the lives they’ve always dreamed of. Those who chose egg donation may not be able to conceive with their own eggs due to age or fertility conditions, such as those with fertility issues, LGBTQ+ families, and single intended parents.

If you are thinking about donating your eggs, you’re probably wondering what the process and recovery process is like. Here’s what you can expect from egg retrieval and recovery.

An Overview Of The Egg Donation Process

The actual retrieval of the donated eggs, known as transvaginal ovarian aspiration, is a standard procedure that was first developed for in vitro fertilization (IVF). The steps leading up to the procedure are as follows:

  • You will take oral contraceptive pills for a few days after your period for about two to three weeks.
  • After two to three weeks, you will visit the fertility clinic for an ultrasound and bloodwork.
  • If everything looks good to your doctors, you will begin your injections. At home, you will inject hormones to stimulate multiple eggs to grow and mature in your ovaries. This will last for about 10 days; you will need to be monitored daily to check on the progress of your egg follicle development.
  • Next, you will receive a trigger shot.
  • Your egg retrieval procedure will be scheduled for up to about 36 hours after the trigger shot is administered.

Egg Retrieval

When you come in for the egg retrieval procedure, it will be a short visit, lasting only about 20 minutes. However, we do highly recommend you take the remainder of the day, as well as the next few days, to rest. During this procedure, you will receive a mild sedative, painkillers, or general anesthesia, depending on your needs and your physician. After sedation has been administered, a probe with a small needle will be inserted into your vagina to penetrate the follicles containing your eggs. Next, using gentle suction, your eggs will be carefully removed from the ovaries.

Recovery After Egg Donation

To minimize discomfort and keep yourself healthy, it’s important to let your body and mind rest as much as possible after you have undergone the egg donation procedure. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Avoid engaging in any strenuous activity for a few days
  • Make sure you’re staying hydrated
  • Notify your doctor if you develop a fever or are experiencing any excessive pain or difficulty eating
  • Avoid taking on new projects or workout routines

One thing to look out for while in recovery is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome {OHSS}. OHSS causes your ovaries to swell and leak fluid into other areas of your body, which can be dangerous. Your doctor should be checking for this throughout each phase of the egg donation process, as well as after egg retrieval. Please contact your doctor immediately if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain and cramping in the abdomen
  • Bloating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid weight gain

If you have any questions or need help with any step of the process, contact Egg Donor America today. Our experts will be happy to walk you through each stage of egg retrieval and address any possible concerns you have.