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Egg Retrieval

Discover what egg donors can expect during the egg retrieval

The last phase of the egg donation cycle for donors is the egg retrieval. This is an incredibly safe, short, and simple procedure that results in minimal discomfort. The team at our Southern California egg donor center helps ensure that donors have a full understanding of what this procedure entails, and are comfortable moving forward with it. 


Typical steps of the egg retrieval procedure


After the egg donor takes fertility medications for about 10-12 days her eggs will hopefully reach an ideal size. To help the fertility doctor determine when the egg donor is ready for the egg retrieval, the donor receives regular monitoring at the fertility clinic.


When it's time for the egg retrieval, the donor will move through various steps. 


Trigger shot. The fertility clinic will instruct the egg donor to take a shot, which is typically Lupron or HCG, that triggers the final maturation of the eggs and prepares them for the retrieval. The donor will then go to the fertility clinic for the egg retrieval procedure about 35 to 36-hours after administering the trigger shot. 


Pre-surgery prep. The egg donor arrives at the clinic about an hour before the egg retrieval to complete necessary paperwork, and prep for the procedure. They should wear loose, comfortable clothing and bring a companion who can drive them home. 


Anesthesia. Before the procedure begins an anesthesiologist administers IV sedation, which prevents the donor from feeling anything during the short procedure. 


Egg retrieval. Once the donor is sedated the fertility doctor uses an ultrasound with a probe to locate the eggs. They then use a small, hollow needle to extract each egg. This process doesn’t require any incisions, and is usually complete within 10 to 15-minutes after the patient receives sedation.


The donor is closely monitored during and after the procedure to help ensure her comfort and safety.

The team at our Southern California egg donor center are also on-call during this time, making sure the donor gets all of her questions answered and feels fully supported. 

An egg donor recovering in bed after an egg retrieval.
What to expect from the egg retrieval recovery


Following the procedure, the egg donor is taken to a recovery area where she is brought out of sedation. She remains in the recovery area for about 30-60 minutes, until the doctor confirms she is cleared to go home. In some cases, the doctor also informs the donor how many eggs were retrieved during this time. 


The donor should rest the day of the egg retrieval. She might experience mild bloating and soreness, and light vaginal spotting. An over the counter pain medication is typically sufficient to curb any discomfort.

Most egg donors are able to return to work or school the next day. However, it's recommended that donors hold off on strenuous activity and intercourse until their period resumes, which usually occurs about two weeks after the egg retrieval.


Our Southern California egg donor center is in close communication with the donor during her recovery to ensure she has everything she needs. 


Contact us for more information about the egg retrieval. 

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