FAQs on the ovum pick-up

The ovum pick-up (egg cell retrieval) is one of the most important steps of in-vitro fertilisation and therefore of your Fertility Journey. Many patients are intimidated and have a lot of questions, how this procedure works. After the ovum pick-up, our patient couples are relieved and tell us, that their worries were without reason. All important information and how to ideally prepare yourself can be found on this page.

During the stimulation we will conduct 2-4 ultrasounds to monitor the follicles. You will receive the appointment for the ovum pick-up at the earliest 2 days before. Due to the constant availability of a doctor we can offer procedures daily.

It is very important to administer the “trigger injection” at the exact time (stated on your stimulation protocol). Please inform us before the ovum pick-up if the injection did not take place at the set time!

In the 2 days before delivery, ejaculation should occur once again, as this is the only way to ensure optimal semen quality. 

If you will be receiving sedation or anaesthesia we ask you to take the whole day off as you will not be capable of working or driving a car! Please organise someone who will take you home safely after the procedure!

We ask you to arrive at the institute with your partner 15 – 30 minutes before the planned appointment so that we can prepare you and proceed with the sperm sample delivery. Please take note of possible traffic jams!

Alternatively, you can bring the sperm sample from home if you transport it at body temperature and can be at the Institute within one hour. You will receive an appropriate container from us.

For anaesthesia or sedoanalgesia: In the case of anaesthesia or sedation we ask you to refrain from eating 6 hours and from drinking (max 500ml water) 2hours before the procedure. You can take your morning medication with one mouthful of water.

Please arrive with your partner 15 – 30 minutes before the planned appointment to prepare. Please take note of traffic jams!

Additionally, please let us know if you have any allergies or intolerances, especially against to Dormicum, Novalgin, Propofol and other medication (antibiotics). You will receive a small clip to check your vital functions during the procedure. For this reason we ask you to remove nail varnish or artificial nails.

Your partner or another caregiver can accompany you to your appointment and to the relaxation room before and after the procedure. However, only the patient is allowed in the procedure room itself - we have decided to do this because it decelerates the whole process of the ovum pick-up. This allows our team to perform this important procedure undisturbed.

The procedure itself usually only takes 5-15 minutes, after which the patient is immediately taken back to the recovery room to be with her partner.

The puncture of the vaginal wall and the consequent removal of fluid can be quite painful. For this reason, we can inject you with a strong sleeping medicine before the procedure. This form of sedation is called „sedoanalgesia“. Talking, twitching and expressions of pain are common during this form of sedation, however, the patients cannot remember anything afterwards. There may be extra costs for this treatments. In certain cases a short anaesthesia by an anaesthetist is necessary – here extra costs are incurred which can be found in the contract.

The ovum pick-up takes up to 15 minutes depending on the amount of follicles to be punctured. In most cases you can leave the Kinderwunschzentrum 1 hour after the procedure.

In cases of very few available follicles (less than 5) it is possible to conduct the ovum pick-up without any form of sedation. More and more patients decide on this variation as the pain feels like menstruation pain and is only for a short time. Then they can continue with the rest of the day without restrictions on their awareness.

Complications during the procedure:

  • Very rarely bleeding of the vaginal wall can occur which is caused by the puncture needle. This bleeding can be stopped immediately after the procedure. Spotting after the puncture should subside slowly. The bleeding should not be stronger than normal menstruation bleeding.

Complications after the procedure:

  • Circulation problems: If necessary you will receive additional infusions after the procedure. Please ensure adequate fluid supply (approx. 2 liters) after the ovum pick-up.
  • Nausea + Vomiting: For these problems you will receive Zofran.
  • Convulsive pain in the lower abdomen: On the day of the ovum pick-up as well as on the days afterwards you might suffer from convulsive pain (intensity comparable to menstruation cramps). Pain killers (Buscopan, Mexalen, Parkemed, Novalgin, Dysmenol…) are permitted.

Naturally, it is our priority to prevent complications, however in 1 of 1000 ovum pick-ups an injury of the inner organs can occur. In such cases an operative procedure is necessary.

You can eat and drink immediately after the procedure as soon as you have woken up from the anaesthesia. There are biscuits in the quiet room however, you can also eat food brought from home.

As soon as you feel normal again you can leave the Kinderwunschzentrum. Due to the fact that you were not allowed to eat before the procedure you will feel hungry and thirsty and therefore you should drink lots (2-3 liters a day). We recommend mineralwater without gas and tea.

Because of the sedoanalgesia you will feel slightly tired for the rest of the day and you are not allowed to drive a car or go to work. Take it easy for the rest of the day. On the next day the sedation will have worn off and although you might still feel some effects of the procedure these should be gone soon. Treat yourself to a day off and look after yourself even if you feel fit.

The ovocytes will be counted before you leave the Institute and you will be informed of the exact number during your discharge.
While you are already at home the evaluation of the mature/unmature ovocytes and their fertilization is conducted.

The egg cell sticks in the follicle in a small cell envelope on the wall of the follicle. The injection 36 hours before the puncture is supposed to detach the egg cell from the wall, then it floats freely in the follicular fluid and can be aspirated. This detachment works in about 70% of the follicles. Some egg cells cannot be flushed out of some follicles, they remain stuck to the wall of the follicles in the body.

On the next day, midmorning you will receive a call from our laboratory team – they will let you know how many of the ovocytes were fertilized and the appointment for the embryo transfer.

On the day after the ovum pick-up you can continue your life in a moderate way. For the following weeks you should not engage in any extreme sport or excessive activities. We have no objection to light training, however, please listen to your body.

Any other medication than the ones we prescribed should be discussed with us. We ask you to call our doctors in the medical consultation hour (Mon-Thu between 12 and 1pm under the number T +43 1 934 69 79 - 222) in order to discuss this. Should you experience strong pain outside of our telephone hours please call the emergency hotline T +43 1 934 69 79 - 111 in order to speak with the doctor on duty.

If you have a headache you can take 1 tablet of Mexalen.

Please visit the next hospital with a gynaecology department and take any documents you received from us after the ovum pick-up with you.

If your questions have not yet been answered, please take a look into our measures to be taken after the procedure: DOWNLOADS