How Are Mature Eggs Collected for IVF?

People with difficulty conceiving naturally may have much better success with Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) techniques like In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). A reproductive endocrinology and fertility physician will perform an egg retrieval, which involves collection of mature oocytes (or eggs). IVF involves fertilization of the eggs and transfer of an embryo back to the uterus. IVF improves the chances of conception for couples with infertility so they may become parents. MCRM Fertility highlights the before, during, and after processes of how mature eggs are collected for IVF.


Women’s ovaries release an egg or eggs each month for fertilization. In IVF, the opportunity to retrieve and fertilize more than one egg is obtained to increase the chances of successful conception. At MCRM Fertility, one of our IVF specialists will make a treatment plan to utilize medications to stimulate the ovaries to develop multiple eggs. This means they must focus on boosting follicle development, so they are able to obtain multiple healthy eggs.

Our experts use hormones to stimulate egg production. Your body naturally uses the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) to stimulate follicular development. In the body, once a follicle (which contains an egg) matures, a Luteinizing hormone (LH) surge kicks in to cause release of the egg (called ovulation). Our IVF experts at MCRM Fertility use synthetic formulations of the FSH and LH hormones to stimulate follicle development and eventual egg release. By controlling such aspects of the menstrual cycle, we also trigger egg release, which facilitates scheduling of the egg retrieval procedure.

During an IVF cycle, our fertility experts prescribe different medications to effectively harness your hormone signals through injectable medications. The FSH, for example, is a daily injection that you can self-administer by following the careful directives of your fertility nurse coordinator.


AT MCRM Fertility, to monitor your reproductive system’s response to treatments, we use ultrasound monitoring to monitor follicle growth. Transvaginal ultrasound monitoring is usually used to determine the maturity of your eggs. Information from your ultrasound is used by our fertility experts as they adjust your medications.

We also run blood tests to determine and monitor ovulation hormone levels. Your follicles produce estrogen, so high levels of this hormone will indicate appropriate follicular growth is underway.

An IVF fertility specialist measures the follicle size during egg retrieval to determine if the egg is mature. A mature follicle on the retrieval day should measure about 18 to 24 mm – verifiable through an ultrasound scan.

Your IVF specialist will ask you to administer a trigger hormone to help release mature eggs. The trigger is given and left to work for some hours before your procedure to retrieve oocytes.

Patients will be placed under anesthesia for the egg collection procedure. The sedative is given through an IV to prevent pain throughout the procedure.

The egg retrieval procedure is relatively short and only takes about 30 minutes. A fertility specialist will use an ultrasound probe with a needle guide to guide a needle to the ovary. Once in the ovary, the needle is pushed into the follicles to aspirate its fluid and detach eggs from the follicle wall.

After aspiration of the fluid through a needle, the fluid goes to the lab, where our embryologists identify the eggs. Our embryologists rinse the eggs in culture media and set them in small drops on culture dishes. The dishes with the eggs go to the specialized IVF incubators to remain in a controlled environment.

Once in the lab, eggs are fertilized using sperm from a partner or selected sperm donor. Embryologists will check the day following egg retrieval to confirm fertilization has occurred. The embryos are then left in embryo culture for about five days and the resultant embryos with either be utilized for a fresh embryo transfer, cryopreserved for future frozen embryo transfer(s) and/or biopsied for pre-implantation genetic screening.


Once the retrieval procedure is complete, patients will go through the recovery process. An MCRM Fertility specialist will monitor the patient for some time until she can be discharged. Some common effects of the procedure are moderate to mild cramping that lasts only a few hours. Your specialist may recommend oral pain medication options to offer relief.

Note: You will not be ready to drive once we discharge you from our facility. We recommend having someone accompany your or pick you up after the procedure and drive you home for some extended rest.

Work with the best IVF specialist

Couples with difficulties conceiving often have high rates of success with fertility treatments at an experienced facility; treatments are tailored for the individual and may include medications, IUI or IVF.

MCRM Fertility is your trusted fertility and IVF expert, helping make your dreams come true. We offer patient-focused care and emotional support while on your journey towards parenthood. Contact us today to find a solution to your fertility goals.


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