When the ovarian stimulation is completed, the procedure moves on to the next stage, that of the egg retrieval.
When there is a sufficient number of follicles that have reached an adequate size, the last injection (HCG) which aids in the final maturation of the eggs is administered, and the egg retrieval is scheduled for 34 to 36 hours later.
The egg retrieval takes place in the operating room under light anaesthesia – sedation, with transvaginal puncture and aspiration of the follicles under continuous ultrasound control. This procedure lasts from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of follicles to be harvested and the overall technical difficulty of each separate case. The eggs are then placed in special incubators set at the appropriate temperature, humidity and aeration conditions. After the egg retrieval is completed, the patient remains in a recovery ward for 1 to 2 hours before going home. Usually she feels no pain, she is feeling comfortable in general, although in a few cases some mild pain medication may be necessary.