November 27, 2023
2 Minutes

What To Expect On Your Egg Retrieval Day

What To Expect On Your Egg Retrieval Day
Written by
Dr Zoe Miller
Medical Editor and Doctor at NHS

In an eggshell...

  • The egg retrieval process can take around 15 minutes, where you'll be under anaesthesia - completely pain free!
  • Recovery post-egg retrieval can take from 1-2 days, with most patients returning to work the next day

What To Expect on Your Egg Retrieval Day

If you’re about to have your eggs retrieved: well done for making it this far!. The ovary stimulating protocol can be hard work. And the egg freezing process is emotionally draining!

What Happens Before Egg Retrieval

Leading up to retrieval, you’ll have completed your ovarian stimulation protocol. Length varies, but they typically last around a month. After scanning your ovaries to check there are several well-developed eggs, you’ll inject yourself to trigger ovulation. This happens right before egg retrieval.1

A Walkthrough of Egg Retrieval Day

Arriving at the clinic, you’ll be checked over and change into a hospital gown. Then you’ll sign some paperwork and be taken to the procedure room.

You’ll be sedated, so you’ll be awake but drowsy and relaxed. Occasionally, anaesthetic is used, and patients are put to sleep completely.

A needle is inserted into your vagina, and an ultrasound scanner is used to help insert it into your ovaries. Each egg is then extracted. This will take 15-20 minutes altogether.2

The extracted eggs will then be taken away for the freezing process. Once frozen, they’ll be safely stored.

Recovery Post-Egg Retrieval

Once the procedure is over, you’ll be taken to a recovery room. Staff will observe you here for at least an hour, longer if you’ve been put to sleep.

You may feel sick or dizzy for a little while if you’ve had the anaesthetic. In this case, you should arrange someone to take you home as it’s best not to drive.

Otherwise, some mild abdominal pain, bleeding, and discomfort is common.2 You can take pain killers and apply heat to help with this. Want to hear more about the risks and side effects of egg freezing? Read our previous blog here.

Rare consequences such as infection and severe bleeding are uncommon, but you should contact the clinic if you’re worried. If it’s an emergency, go straight to hospital. Most women are completely back to normal 48 hours after the procedure.

It can be an ordeal! But knowing your eggs are stored, with a greater chance of starting a family later, makes it well worth it.

Written by
Dr Zoe Miller
Medical Editor and Doctor at NHS