FAQs on the ovum pick-up

When does the ovum pick-up take place and what should be considered in the days before?

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!

3-4 days before the ovum pick-up you should refrain from ejaculation in order to guarantee a good amount and quality of sperm cells.

What do I have to consider for the day of the ovum pick-up?

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.

What do I have to consider regarding the procedure?

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) 2 hours 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.

Can my partner or another person accompany me during the ovum pick-up?

Of course you can be accompanied by your partner or another close person as you will feel more comfortable if you have support during the procedure. Also in cases of a possible language barrier an accompanying person is helpful for both you and our medical staff. Please understand that we can only allow one person to accompany the patient.

Some partners or accompanying people do not feel well being part of a medical procedure. Please let us know before the procedure, if possible. It is possible to leave the operation room during the procedure.

Is the ovum pick-up painful and how long does it last?

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.

Which complications can occur?

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.

When can I eat and drink after the procedure?

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.

How will I feel after the ovum pick-up?

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.

What happens to the ovocytes after the ovum pick-up?

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 ripe/unripe ovocytes and their fertilization is conducted.

What happens on the day after the ovum pick-up?

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.

Can I do sport (jogging, fitness training) ?

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.

Can I take medication for example pain killers?

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 (Mo-Thur between 12 and 1pm under the number T +43 – 1 – 40 111 – 5413) in order to discuss this. Should you experience strong pain outside of our telephone hours please call the emergency hotline (T +43 – 1 – 40 111 – 5417) in order to speak with the doctor on duty.

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

What should I do if I have problems after the ovum pick-up and cannot reach a doctor on the emergency number?

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

Further questions?

If you still have questions please take a look at our fact sheet after the ovum pick-up:

Instructions and tips following the ovum pick-up & embryo transfer