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Steps to IVF Treatment – Egg Collection

04:01 2nd December 2013 | In-Vitro Fertilisation

Egg Collection Embryologist Intr Venous Injection Ultrasound Probe Conventional IVF Intra CytoplasmicSperm Injection ICSI Follicles Cyclogest Pessaries Progesterone

When you are ready to have your egg collection arranged, you will be given an instruction sheet telling you exactly what you need to do. Specially trained doctors perform egg collections in the clinic’s theatre. Your partner or another relative or friend is welcomed to be with you during the procedure to give you moral support.

First, a needle will be inserted into a vein in the back of your hand and you will be given an intravenous injection of a strong painkiller and a tranquiliser. An ultrasound probe to which a bracket mounted with a needle is inserted into the vagina. The doctor will guide the needle through the vaginal wall and into the ovary and you will
experience short sharp discomfort or pain as this is done. Once in the ovary, the operator will then drain every follicle. The degree of discomfort during the procedure varies from patient to patient. The majority of women experience a moderate degree of pain that they can bear without difficulty.
The embryologist will then examine the fluid under the microscope to detect and collect the eggs. You will be able to see this on a small TV screen which is connected to the microscope. Depending on the number of follicles there are on each ovary, the procedure time can range from 5 – 20 minutes. The operator will then drain every follicle possible, but not every follicle contains an egg. We expect to obtain eggs from approximately 75% of follicles. After egg collection, we will be able to tell you the number of eggs that have been collected. The eggs are then placed in culture medium and labelled in the incubator in the laboratory. Very occasionally, we do not get any eggs. This is due to poor ovarian response, but sometimes there are many follicles, none of which yield eggs. Following the egg collection, you will rest in the recovery room for half an hour or so until you feel able to go home. That night when you go to bed, you should start using the Cyclogest pessaries. One should be inserted vaginally or rectally with your finger every night, until the pessaries are finished. They contain a hormone called progesterone which may help with the implantation process.

Conventional IVF: Conventional IVF is carried out if the semen is of good quality, in this process a prepared sample of semen is mixed with the eggs and the dish put in the incubator till the next morning. The sperms swim into the egg to fertilise them as they would in the body.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI):
 This process has been described in  earlier posts (here). ICSI is necessary to achieve fertilisation of the eggs where the sperms are not strong enough to swim into the eggs by themselves. After the eggs have been injected, they are placed in a dish in the incubator until the next morning.


Fertilisation check
The eggs are examined the next morning to determine if they have been fertilised. You will be asked to telephone the embryologist the morning after egg collection to find out the fate of your eggs. You will then be given an appointment to come for embryo transfer the next day (two days after egg collection).

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