egg retrieval process
Bay IVF - Advanced Reproductive Care                                Palo Alto  650-322-0500


Egg Retrieval Process

How do I prepare for egg retrieval? How long does egg retrieval take? What happens after egg retrieval?

These are the most commonly asked questions related to the egg retrieval process.

At Bay IVF, you do not go to a hospital for the egg retrieval procedure. It is performed right at our Clinic. Your visit for the egg retrieval will take about two hours, but the egg retrieval itself takes only 5 to 10 minutes. We use very comfortable conscious sedation for analgesia. Most of our patients sleep through the brief procedure.

Since 1985, we have done many thousands of egg retrievals, and are very experienced in retrieving eggs from the ovaries.

There is not much you have to do to prepare yourself for egg retrieval. We ask you not to eat or drink after midnight and to take a premedication pill before leaving your house.

The procedure is done with ultrasound guidance. A tip of a thin needle is passed through the top of the vagina into the cul-de-sac (space behind the uterus). The ovaries are located near the top of the vagina allowing the tip of the aspirating needle to enter the ovarian follicles one at a time and to aspirate the follicular fluid from them.

Each ovarian follicle usually contains a single egg. The fluid is then immediately examined under a microscope by the embryologist to identify the eggs.

On average, eight to fourteen eggs are aspirated during the egg retrieval procedure. After their identification, the eggs are placed in an incubator in petri dishes filled with culture medium.

The male partner collects a semen specimen by masturbation on the day of egg retrieval. The highest quality sperm are extracted from the semen and combined with the eggs three hours after the egg retrieval.

Approximately 15-30 minutes after the egg retrieval, the number of eggs becomes known, and you will be given this information. After that, it's time to get dressed and leave the Clinic for your home.

Most patients take it easy for the rest of the day, but we have had patients going straight to work after the egg retrieval.

Evidence of fertilization can be seen the next day, 16 hours after insemination. We will call you to let you know how many embryos you have. The fertilized eggs (embryos) are transferred into a growth medium and continue to be cultured in our laboratory.


Please use the following links for additional information about In Vitro Fertilization and to schedule a consultation.



Schedule an Online
Or In-Person
Initial Consultation
With Dr. Polansky


Thank you.
We will contact you as soon as possible.