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    What Happens on Egg Retrieval Day (Egg Donation Process)

    Prepare yourself for egg retrieval

    If you are thinking about becoming an egg donor, the odds are that you have already carried out a lot of research about the egg donation process. Before you are being accepted into the program, you need to know a few things about the screening. Donors administer birth control pills (contraceptives) for approximately three weeks before the onset of the egg donation cycle. You are also aware that the cycle commences on the 1st day of your next menstrual period, with approximately 8-10 days of fertility medication injections and a series of monitoring appointments. You will then be given a trigger shot when the timing is right, and the egg retrieval is going to be scheduled two days later.

    Egg retrieval procedure

    But do you know what occurs the egg retrieval day? Let’s give you a rundown of the things to expect on the day of the egg retrieval procedure and how you can get ready.

    1. A short fast

    Refrain from eating or drinking the night before. This is a standard procedure for surgeries and will be required the night before your egg retrieval day. Stay clear of food and drink 8-10 hours before your appointment, like a short fast. This is because the process uses anesthesia, which temporarily suspends most bodily functions — having food and drink in your stomach when on anesthesia can make you vomit.

    2. Take a day off

    Take the day off. You can work around jobs and classes every day but not the egg retrieval day. In case you already have children, ensure you have a trusted caregiver that can help you out. Although the procedure should take nothing more than 2.5 to 3 hours, you will need some time to recover fully from the effects of the mild anesthetic used in the process. So, you need to plan well beforehand!

    3. We will put you under “twilight” anesthesia

    You will undergo anesthesia. Once you get to the clinic and are ready, the doctors will put you under what is called “twilight” anesthesia. (This means you will be unconscious but sedated.)

    4. Retrieving Your Egg

    Your eggs are going to be retrieved. A small needle will be passed through the upper part of the vagina with the help of ultrasound to reach the ovary and the follicles. The fluid present in the ovarian follicles is sapped using the needle, and the eggs get detached and are removed from the ovary. All these take between 20 to 30 minutes. Don’t worry; you won’t feel a thing, as you will be under the influence of anesthesia when this takes place!

    5. Getting you to the home safely after egg retrieval

    Coming to and getting home. Usually, the time you need to recover should be around 60 to 120 minutes. You will wake up after the operation feeling groggy due to the anesthesia. Some egg donors also experience nausea, bloating, cramping, and spotting because of the anesthesia. So you will need a reliable friend or family member to drive you home when the procedure is completed. Uber, Lyft, or Taxis is a no-no!

    6. Relax for the rest of the day

    Take it easy, girl. While the anesthesia is going to wear off, you will still feel a bit dizzy and sleepy. As per the law, you are considered intoxicated! As you would do after a minor surgical operation, use the rest of the day to relax. It might be time to get more acquainted with your DVR. Once more, plan so that you can take a full day off. Also, take a light snack soon after the procedure, even if there are mild effects of anesthesia. You’ll need a bite to regain your strength. Crackers, fresh juice, or similar light, comforting foods are a great idea.

    7. Resume regular schedule

    Resume your regular schedule the following day. As in most cases, you will be fine to resume school, work, and caregiving the next day. Everyone is not the same. Some women may still feel the side effects of the anesthesia the day after the egg retrieval. So it won’t be a bad idea to have a backup plan in case your body requires a longer time to recover.

    8. Monitoring your health

    In the forthcoming days, we are going to monitor you for complications or any symptoms of rare side effects of the procedure. Your health and overall well-being are important to us. You can expect your next menstruation in about 1 to 2 weeks.

    Tips for Egg Retrieval Day

    There are several things you can do to make the process convenient and straightforward for yourself. Here is a summary:

    • Wear comfortable clothing. You will be given a hospital gown to change into, but make sure your clothes are easy to slip on and out of, mainly because you’ll be tired after the procedure.
    • Avoid wearing perfume, nail polish, jewelry, or contacts.
    • Arrive at least one hour in advance to allow you sufficient time to fill out forms, change into your clothes, and settle down into your procedure room.

    Egg Retrieval FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

    If the egg retrieval process is new to you, it would be beneficial to go over these common queries:

    • Is it painful? No. You will be under the influence of anesthesia throughout the process and will feel no pain.
    • Will I bleed after the egg retrieval procedure? Possibly. Many women experience post-procedure vaginal bleeding, so don’t worry if you see blood stains or spots.
    • How soon will I recover? Typically, it will take anywhere from 60 to 120 minutes for your body to regain full function after the procedure. We advise you to rest because it will take up to 24 hours for the medications to fully exit your body.
    • What foods should I avoid? Stay clear of spicy foods, and stick to light snacks. If you do not feel nausea, we advise to take small meals.


    So, this is what it looks like on the egg retrieval day. The procedure is straightforward, and the best thing to do is to plan for rides, time off, or any other thing that will make the process go smooth and hassle-free. Contact us or check our FAQ section if you want to know more about this big day!

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