The retrieval of eggs will usually happen around 36 hours after the last injection, and will take place in the theatre, usually whilst you’re sedated. A needle will be guided by ultrasound through your vaginal wall into the ovaries to withdraw fluid from each follicle. This is the easiest and safest approach. A number of tubes containing the collected fluid are taken to the embryology lab where an embryologist examines every tube under a microscope to identify the eggs.
The collected eggs are cultured in an incubator in optimised conditions until the eggs are ready to be inseminated with the sperm provided either by your partner, or by a donor. The following morning, the embryologist will check to see how many eggs have been successfully fertilised and will contact you by phone with the news. Over the following few days, the developing embryos are carefully checked and at the most appropriate time, we’ll make arrangements for your embryo transfer.
At the time of your embryo transfer, the embryologist will discuss with you the quality and number of embryos and whether any would be suitable for freezing for use in the future. The transfer will take place back in the procedure room, but usually requires no sedation or anaesthetic. The embryos, once selected, will be transferred using a special catheter, a fine plastic tube which is inserted through the cervix and into the womb.