The Tips for IVF Egg Retrieval

How to Prepare Your Egg Collection and Take Care of Yourself after It?

During IVF or ICSI cycle, eggs are removed from the ovaries approximately 36 hours after taking the trigger injection. Customers who are going through IVF have often told me the day they most worry about is the day of their egg collection. Here is a list of TIPS that help prepare you physically and emotionally for egg retrieval, as well as ease the recovery and prepare the body for next steps.

Prepare for egg collection

1. Don’t make any major plans. You still don’t know exactly what day your retrieval is going to be on, so do not schedule any trips, parties, or big events during the week leading up to your retrieval. You’ll need the day of the procedure off work. Some women also find they need an extra day at home. If you’ve not had an egg collection procedure before, play it safe and book two days personal leave off work. A Medical Certificate can be arranged through your IVF clinic or Fertility Specialist.

2. Watch your lifestyle and diet. Choose foods that are full of antioxidants, healthy fats (such as omega-3s), lean protein, and vitamins. Eating a healthy diet can improve the health of your ovaries and eggs. At the same time, avoid eating fried foods, sweet baked goods and desserts, and processed meats. Stop smoking and abandon alcohol. Drink enough water and control the amount of caffeine every day.

3. Consider taking it easy for exercise. After several days’ injection, your stomach will be bloated and lower back could be sore due to your growing ovaries. So walking and gentle yoga are recommended during the week leading up to your retrieval.

4. Don’t skimp on sleep.  You maybe feel exhausted the last several days of your shots because so much is going on inside your body. Do not feel guilty about napping, and if taking naps is not an option for you, at least make sure to get adequate sleep each night.

5.  Plan your travel. Make sure you have arranged for a responsible adult to drive you to IVF clinic, escort you home, and ideally stay with you overnight. This can be your partner, your family members or friends.

6. Try acupuncture. Acupuncture before egg collection could help boost the blood flow to ovaries to improve your ovarian function and egg quality, as well as ease bloating and discomfort.

Recovery after egg retrieval

1. Most patients will experience some pelvic heaviness, soreness, or cramping after egg collection – especially in the first one or two days. Ask the physician to recommend pain killers if discomfort continues.

2. Avoid tub baths, hot tubs, swimming or immersing oneself in water from the time of the egg retrieval until after the pregnancy test. Take showers rather than baths. Do not use douches, spermicides or vaginal creams during this time.

3. Your body requires more water to recover from the egg collection and help avoid OHSS (Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome). So try to drink 2-3L water every day. Stay away from cold drinks and caffeinated drinks.

4. Some patients will experience spotting after egg collection, but it should be less than a regular menstrual period. Use cotton sanitary napkins and change them every 4-6 hours.

5. Doctors usually suggest refrain from penetrative sexual activity in or around the vagina from this time up until one week after the embryo transfer. We advise to avoid having sexual intercourse until the pregnancy test.

6. Apply heat pad on your lower tummy every night for 30 mins since 24 hours after egg collection, especially the night before transfer.

7. You could go for acupuncture 2 or 3 days after egg collection to help ovaries recovery and prepare a better environment for the arrival of an embryo.