Once a patient has decided to do IVF the infertility doctor will develop a treatment plan. This plan often uses a combination of oral contraceptives, and fertility hormones to stimulate the ovary to make multiple eggs. Once stimulation is started the fertility patient will present to the fertility doctor every few days for ultrasounds and blood tests. These tests help determine the dose of medication and the progress of the egg growth.

The fertility doctor will use the size of the follicles (eggs) and the blood hormones levels to determine when the eggs are ready to be removed.

When the fertility doctor feels it is time for retrieval, the patient will be injected with HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) to stimulate the body into finalizing the maturation process of the egg to prepare it for the egg retrieval.


Egg retrievals are most often performed in the office in the egg retrieval room. This is a special room with special filtering systems, lights and supplies. The egg retrieval is performed under mild sedation. The egg retrieval procedure is painless due to this sedation, and many patients report it feels no different than a pap-smear. An ultrasound probe, and an attached needle, are inserted into the vagina and directed to the ovaries under ultrasound guidance.

As each follicle is found, the needle is used to carefully puncture it before a gentle suction is applied to collect the egg. A Colorado embryologist looks for the eggs from each of these follicle content samples for use in fertilization, often with a sperm sample that has been donated on the same day by the male partner.


Since the patient is often placed under anesthesia during the procedure, there is minimal pain occurring throughout the retrieval. Afterwards there may be cramping felt, similar to that of a menstrual cycle cramp, and this is often treated by administering pain medication.

Typically there will be a round of medications for the patient after the procedure in the form of an antibiotic, a steroid, and a hormonal supplement. These first two are to combat any possible infection or inflammation, and the hormonal supplement is to stimulate the endometrial tissue, preparing it for the embryo to implant. Taking these exactly as prescribed is paramount to good success.

After the eggs are fertilized the resultant embryos are then placed back in the uterus to achieve pregnancy.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What They Never Told You About Female Fertility

Numerous factors play a role in female fertility. If you’re struggling to become pregnant, the problem could relate to your age, your partner, the amount of exercise you’re getting, or none of the above. Learn the facts about female infertility.

How We Diagnose Infertility

Often, the first question someone struggling with infertility asks is: Why? Answering that is the top priority for your fertility specialist as well. Learn why diagnosing infertility is the first step toward achieving your dream.

Helping a Loved One Through Fertility Issues

Are you hesitant to reach out to a friend or family member undergoing fertility treatments because you aren’t sure what to say? We discuss the ways you can support those who are experiencing the emotional highs and lows of infertility.

The Importance of Tests Before Tubal Reversal

Reversing the effects of a tubal ligation is an increasingly viable option for many women seeking to have a child. Our expert explains the procedure and the need for a fertility evaluation and other tests in advance of the surgery.

What a Semen Analysis Can Tell Us

When you’re concerned about fertility, the process of finding out what is causing it can seem overwhelming. Our team is committed to breaking it down for you in easily understood steps. Here’s what you need to know about the semen analysis.