The Ultimate Guide to the Egg Retrieval Process

Women who offer to be egg donors know that the egg retrieval is the goal they have been ultimately working toward. After several weeks of diligently doing hormone injections and going to the clinic for monitoring visits, the egg retrieval is the “big moment.” In order to ensure you feel confident about your egg donation journey, we want to ensure you have the knowledge to fully understand the egg retrieval and all it entails. 

Elevate Donors is a California egg donor agency helping potential egg donors understand what the entire journey will entail from being matched with intended parents to the egg retrieval process. The egg retrieval is a crucial part of any assisted reproductive journey, and although we are not an IVF clinic where the egg retrieval will take place, we can provide you with the knowledge necessary to ensure you feel comfortable and hopeful moving forward as an egg donor.

What Is the Trigger Shot in the Egg Retrieval Process?

When you work with Elevate to become an egg donor in California, we will match you with the intended parents that you will give the gift of hope as they pursue building their family. Once you have been matched with the intended parents to whom you will donate your eggs, our team members at Elevate will serve as case managers throughout the duration of the process. 

Many egg donors are surprised to learn that the actual egg retrieval actually starts 36 hours before you even arrive at the IVF clinic. This is because you will need to take what is known as the trigger shot. The trigger shot is a medication that preps the body to release the eggs at the right time for the egg retrieval. In other words, the trigger shot ensures there is no guesswork involved. The medical professionals you work with at the IVF clinic will make sure you know exactly when to take the shot and when to arrive for your egg retrieval appointment.

What Happens Before the Egg Retrieval Begins?

At Elevate Donors, we are dedicated to ensuring we provide you with the support and knowledge to ensure your egg retrieval experience is as calm and smooth as possible. This should be an exciting point in your journey as an egg donor as you help the intended parents you have been matched with get closer to your goal of building a family! 

Because the egg retrieval is a surgical procedure, egg donors must refrain from eating or drinking the night before. Some points to keep in mind before your egg retrieval include:

  • Wear comfortable clothing to the facility
  • Do not wear makeup, perfume, or contact lenses
  • You will be briefed on what you should do after the retrieval before the procedure begins
  • You will be provided with clear written instructions to take home with you for after the retrieval

Before your egg retrieval begins, you will be moved to the procedure room. Here, the anesthesiologist will insert an IV and place you under twilight anesthesia. Twilight anesthesia is different from the general anesthesia used in more invasive surgeries because it results in a medication-induced sleep during which you will be able to breathe on your own without the help of breathing tubes. The case manager assigned to you during your egg donation journey will be able to answer any additional questions you may have regarding what you can expect when you go to an IVF clinic to undergo egg retrieval.

Understanding What Will Happen During the Egg Retrieval

Although you will be under twilight anesthesia during the egg retrieval, many egg donors feel more comfortable having an understanding of what will occur while undergoing the procedure. 

When the procedure begins, the doctor will use an ultrasound guide to find your ovaries. Then, the doctor will gently insert a thin needle attached to a catheter through the vaginal wall to draw out the eggs. The eggs will then be collected in test tubes labeled with your name and unique identification number and handed off to the embryologist, who is an expert in the science of oocyte cryopreservation and embryo creation. 

What to Expect After the Egg Retrieval is Complete

After your egg retrieval is complete, you will be taken to a recovery bay at the IVF clinic. There, a nurse will monitor you for 30 to 60 minutes as you wake up from the anesthesia you were under. Before you leave the IVF clinic, the medical team can inform you of how many eggs were retrieved and then moved to the embryology lab. From beginning to end, the egg retrieval only takes about an hour and a half.

You may experience some grogginess from the anesthesia after the procedure and it is recommended you go straight home and take time to rest. Additionally, you should plan on not driving for at least 24 hours post-procedure. Other symptoms you may experience can include cramping or light bleeding. For more information regarding what to expect before, during, and after the egg retrieval, the team at Elevate Donors is happy to answer all of your questions.

Speak to a Team Member at Elevate Donors Today About Your Egg Retrieval

At Elevate Donors, our team understands that making the decision to become an egg donor can be an exciting time as you begin the journey of providing a priceless gift to the intended parents you are matched with. Each egg donation journey is personal, which is why we are happy to provide extensive knowledge about the egg retrieval process and any other steps in the journey to ensure our donors feel comfortable every step of the way.  

With extensive experience serving high-profile and celebrity clients, we treat all egg donors and intended parents with the same concierge-level service to ensure joyful journeys. Contact us today for more information about becoming an egg donor and the egg retrieval process by calling (323) 933-8918 or by filling out our contact form.


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