What to expect of your IVF egg retrieval

If you’re about to undergo your first IVF egg retrieval surgery, you might be wondering what to expect… What happens during the egg retrieval procedure? Will it hurt? Will I be awake or asleep? How long does it take?

IVF egg retrieval can be a stressful and a trying time: both physically and emotionally. It’s perfectly normal to feel a nervous, worried or anxious prior to (and during) your egg retrieval treatment.

I’ve worked with many women going through IVF, and it’s always the same questions and concerns that come up. You are not alone.

I’m hoping that by answering some of the common questions I get about egg retrieval, I can help to put you at ease a little for the next time you visit your IVF clinic. Knowing what to expect leaves less room for anxiety to take over and gives you more fuel for empowerment…

 What’s going to happen before my eggs are removed?

No two IVF treatments are alike, and what drugs and stimulants are necessary for one woman might be a completely case for another. Generally, though, having your eggs removed starts with one or two processes. Down regulation and/or stimulation.

First, you may need to take medicine to suppress your body’s natural production of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) – these are the hormones responsible for the development and release of one mature egg every month. This allows the development and release for multiple eggs to be controlled by your IVF doctors.

If down regulation is necessary for you, only after that part of the process has been successful will you move onto the next stage of your treatment and start your daily stimulation injections.

A lot of women find this part of egg retrieval physically demanding and mentally taxing: all of of a sudden you have been medicalized and daily drug dosages and timings have to be followed while your body feels like it’s being turned into a pin cushion. You may also have to daily trips to the clinic for bloodwork and ultrasounds so they can check on how your follicles are developing and alter the treatment if necessary.

For a couple of weeks prior to egg retrieval, your life is still going to revolve around it. Making sure you have enough support during these times, from your partner, your family, friends, other couples going through IVF, can really help you and remind you that you’re not going through this alone.

What’s going to happen during the egg retrieval procedure?

Once a certain number of eggs have developed, you are then given a drug to trigger ovulation and the final maturation of your eggs.

To retrieve the eggs, your physician will go into the ovaries through the vaginal canal. Using a needle, they will aspirate each of the follicles to remove the eggs. The procedure itself is fairly quick (about 10 to 15 minutes) and pain-free.


Will I be awake or asleep?

For most conventional IVF treatments you will be put under during your egg retrieval. Only in cases of mini IVF (where less eggs are being retrieved and a smaller needle is used) will you potentially be awake during your surgery.

Will it hurt?

The procedure itself will not hurt you, as discussed above: you’ll be asleep for it. How you will feel after the procedure, depends on how many follicles you have and how big there are. The more times the physician had to aspirate, the more inflammation and swelling you may experience during your recovery.

Possible symptoms and side effects include bloating, soreness, cramping and even spotting for several days.

How long will it take for me to recover?

You should take it easy after your egg retrieval procedure, and don’t plan to go back to work the next day.

Recovery is so important! Make sure you stay (naturally) hydrated after treatment with electrolytes or liquid minerals. And prioritise your time for self-care, to reflect on the process, to balance yourself mentally with what’s been happening to you physically.

You should feel physically recovered within 48 hours of treatment. Here is where it will be super important that you have a good support network, though, because the waiting game can be the hardest part of all.

Success rates will differ from couple to couple and can be influenced by many factors. You should be given an idea of your success rates for how many of your eggs will be removed by your IVF doctors. You should also be doing all you can before the retrieval to make your IVF successful.

How to Conquer your IVF FREE video series

During this free video series, you’re going to learn a proven formula that will make your IVF more successful. The same one I’ve been using with the thousands of patients during my almost 20 years in practice. During the 4 videos I will guide you on all of the ways you can create the best possible conditions for your next IVF cycle to be the one that finally works. 

Register for FREE now to learn:


? #1 – Things I Wish YOU Knew Before IVF


? #2 – The First Step to Conquer your IVF

? #3- The Mind & Spirit Approach to IVF

? #4- The Egg & Sperm Approach

This is perfect for you if:

  You’re about to start IVF and need tips on how to prepare for treatment (and would like guidance throughout your treatment)

  You’ve had multiple unsuccessful IVF cycles and need support and advice on how to improve your success rates.

  You’re thinking about having IVF and want to know if this is the best option for you.


If you would like a little bit more support on your IVF journey; if you’re thinking about IVF or you’re already doing it and you want to improve your success rates, then I’ve created an IVF support group that can guide you and hopefully increase your success rates.

Enroll now to the Conquering IVF Program, where we break down the IVF journey into the before, during and after: Believe, Empower, Create.  With our monthly subscription, you will have access to an online e-course and 2x group coaching sessions a month where you can connect with other like-minded couples while receiving the guidance and support you need to take you through your whole IVF journey.


If you’re still not sure that IVF is the next step for you, but you would like some more support in your fertility journey, then I’d like to help you figure out the areas affecting your ability to get pregnant and create a plan that will improve your fertility and hopefully get you pregnant. You can book a consultation with us. We’re here for you.

Talk with The Fertility Expert’s Team

Our mission is to help you address the root cause of your fertility problems, empower your body to its maximum health so you can get pregnant naturally. If you’ve been trying with no success and want fertility help and answers on how to get pregnant, The Hope Coaching is the next step.

During this 1-hour online fertility consultation, you’ll get all the fertility support you need, we’ll review your case, give you recommendations and create next steps for a personalized plan to help you get pregnant  The H.O.P.E Coaching is the next step to make sure your fertility journey is going towards a healthy pregnancy. 60 minutes can mean the difference in how long it takes for you to hold your dreamed baby. No matter where you live (our programs are virtual), how long you’ve been trying or your fertility condition, we’re here for you.

If you’ve been trying for quite some time with no results, are tired of seeing doctors with no answers, but are not ready to quit on your body and your fertility, we’ll be your “fertility detectives”. During the HOPE Coaching call we’ll find answers to your fertility problems and study the next steps in your fertility journey.

If you started trying some months ago, but need guidance, want a holistic approach to fertility and are ready to empower your fertility in a natural way, the HOPE coaching call will give you the help you need to eliminate any blockages so you can start seeing results and feel EMPOWER, fertile and baby ready.

If you are thinking about getting pregnant and want to know how to get your body ready, empower your fertility in a natural way following our holistic fertility approach so you can get pregnant fast avoiding IVF.

Keep learning about How to EMPOWER your fertility naturally with weekly Fertility TV Episodes!

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Have you already had IVF treatment? First of all, we hope for you that it was successful!!! But, what we want to know is: how long did it take for you to get pregnant with IVF? Or how long have you been having IVF treatment? Leave your answer in the comments below.