QUESTION: I’m considering donating my eggs, but I don’t know the procedure. Can you explain – in detail – what I should expect from the actual egg retrieval? Does it hurt?
Dr. Doyle: There are three separate aspects of the egg donation process. The first involves all the screening tests that are required to make sure that the donation is safe and appropriate. The second is the stimulation of your ovaries to produce multiple eggs. This is because in a normal cycle without such meds, a woman would normally produce one egg per month, and with an egg donation the goal is many more than that. Then the last step is the actual egg retrieval. This is done using a vaginal ultrasound and a guided needle that is placed into the ovaries through the vagina. Fortunately you are asleep for this procedure so you will not see, feel or remember any of it. Most clinics use a twilight anesthesia, similar to what is given for other office-based procedures like colonoscopy or many dental procedures. It is seldom done in a hospital, usually takes about 30 minutes, and the recovery is generally a few hours.
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