IVF egg collection
IVF egg retrieval explained
Egg collection during IVF
Before we dive into the details of an egg collection, let’s quickly recap what IVF is. In short, it is a form of assisted reproductive technology to overcome a range of fertility issues.
The whole idea of IVF is to maximise your chances of falling pregnant by generating as many mature eggs as possible. We call this the stimulation phase and it involves injecting medications for 8-14 days, to induce the ovaries to produce many eggs. When the eggs are retrieved, they get fertilised in the lab and the embryos start to develop. This process takes about 5 days. Then, you will come into the clinic for a 10-minute procedure, which is called the embryo transfer.
"During the egg retrieval procedure, you’re asleep and the whole process takes about 20 minutes. During that time, all ovarian follicles are drained and the fluid (hopefully containing an egg) is passed over to an embryologist to find the egg."
IVF egg collection in the lab
Behind the scenes: this is how eggs are collected
"The embryologist is looking for eggs and in the video, you will see that the first fluid sample didn’t contain an egg. That is not abnormal, as not all follicles contain eggs. That’s why the number of follicles and the number of eggs don’t always match."
"There is a chance that not all of the eggs will have been fertilised. Usually, about two-thirds of eggs fertilise. The embryos will divide and multiply their cells over 5 to 6 days to become blastocysts. Embryos that survive to that stage have a higher implantation potential."
"The transfer itself is the same. The process prior to the transfer is different though. A frozen embryo needs to be thawed - we call this process embryo warming. In this video you see our embryologist Jason moving the embryo from the warming dish to the culture dish, preparing it for transfer."
IVF egg collection video
“I am always humbled by the magic that happens in the fertility lab. It’s exciting to see an embryo developing through the blastocyst phase and as a fertility specialist, it’s a privilege to be involved in this whole process. From diagnosing, to making choices that are best for your individual situation, all the way to starting a successful pregnancy.”