Common questions regarding the ovum pick-up procedure

Can I operate a motorized vehicle after the ovum pick-up procedure?

Since you will undergo anaesthesia, you should not drive a car on the day of the pick-up procedure. You will require a person to accompany you.

Can partners or other persons be present during the egg cell extraction?

Naturally, the partner or another familiar person may be present during the procedure. Some patients feel better if someone close is present during the procedure. Also if language is an issue, it is important for both the patient and us that another person is present. We ask for your understanding that only one person may accompany the patient throughout the procedure.

Some partners and accompanying persons may be uncomfortable being present during the procedure. We should be informed of this in advance. It is possible anytime during procedure to leave the operation room.

Is the egg cell extraction (ovum pick-up) painful and how long does it take?

The puncturing of the vaginal wall and the following siphoning off of the fluid can be painful. Therefore, a painkiller and a sedative are administered intravenously before the operation. This method of pain suppression is referred to as "sedation analgesia." There are no additional costs for this treatment. In special cases it may be necessary for a short duration anaesthesia to be administered by an anaesthesiologist. This does qualify as general anaesthesia and medication is again administered intravenously. The whole procedure is overseen by an anaesthesiologist as each anaesthesia procedure, whether local or general, involves risks and side effects.  

The puncturing procedure, which is related to the number of follicles, lasts between 30 seconds and 5 minutes. Under normal circumstances the patient can leave the centre 1 to 2 hours after the operation. If the partner is unavailable to take the patient home, we recommend that another person be available to accompany the patient home. 

Which complications may occur?

Understandably, it is our highest priority to prevent complications. However, even using utmost caution, in 1 out of a 1000 ovum pick-ups, the procedure may lead to injury of internal organs (intestine, blood vessels). Under these circumstances it may be necessary to perform an additional procedure to repair the injury. In some instances, it may be necessary to perform abdominal surgery in order to allow for the appropriate treatment.

On rare occasions, the puncturing causes bleeding on the outside of the vaginal wall. In this case, it is sufficient to press a swab on the area for several minutes in order to stop the bleeding. On very rare occasions it may be necessary to utilize small stitches.

What else is important?

The patient must not have eaten or drunk anything except water in the 6 hours leading up to the procedure (this also applies to medication). During the procedure you will have a small clip placed on your finger to acoustically monitor your circulation. During the procedure, another further acoustical signal  is that made by the suction pump.

When may I eat something?

When you regain consciousness after the anaesthesia you will be offered tea (optional). You may have a small meal, preferably soup, after leaving the centre.

How does the patient feel after the procedure?

It takes about half an hour after the sedation or short anaesthesia for the patient to regain partial orientation and clarity. As soon as her circulation and general condition allow, the patient may leave the Kinderwunschzentrum. As mentioned earlier, this is usually possible after 1 to 2 hours. You should not operate a vehicle or go to work the day of the procedure. Slight pain, in particular a sensation of pressure in the abdomen, is normal. You will feel thirsty and should drink lots of liquids (2 - 3 liters per day). In addition to carbonated mineral water and tea, we also recommend isotonic drinks, such as Isostar, Aquarius, Gatorade, etc. Treat yourself to a day or two off even if you are feeling better. If you experience strong pain or have additional questions we ask you to please contact us.

For how long will I be unable to work?

Due to the possible development of cysts on the ovaries after the egg cell extraction and the associated bodily strain, you may be unfit to work for one to two weeks.

Why do I have minor bleeding?

A bloody-brown discharge is normal after the ovum pick-up procedure.

Can I participate in sports activities (jogging, fitness training)?

No strong activity should be undertaken during the time that you are incapable of working. Light walking, however, should be fine.

Can I take any medication, such as painkillers for example?

As mentioned above, the consumption of other medications should be discussed and coordinated with the centre. If pain is severe enough for a doctor to be consulted, please be sure to call the emergency number so that a decision can be made on how to proceed.

Can I do any household activities?

There is no reason why you can not do regular housework. Major household activities, such as a spring cleaning, should not be done within the first few days after the ovum pick-up.

What should I do when I experience discomfort/pain after the ovum pick-up procedure and I can not reach a doctor on the centre's emergency line?

Please go to the nearest hospital with a post-natal ward and take with you all the documents which you received from us. These contain an outline of the treatment, information on the number of embryos, and a description of the emergency measures that should be followed, so that you suffer no harm from the treatment.

On which day does the ovum pick-up procedure take place?

The day of the follicle extraction depends on how the ovaries have reacted to the hormonal stimulation. The Kinderwunschzentrum is available to conduct the procedure each day of the week.