egg retrievalEgg Retrieval – that’s what I’m talking about.

For those of you who haven’t undergone an egg retrieval listen up – our doctor prescribe various injectable medications for us to take during an IVF cycle.  The hope is that this medication will stimulate our ovaries to create more than one follicle.  Ideally about 10 on each side.  How does this work? The medication we takes regulates our endocrine functions that are related to reproductive hormones and make our ovaries work harder, and they get larger and we can feel bloated, cranky, and rather full.

Egg retrievals are done in a clinic – and typically (in my case) given medication to sedate you or place you in a twilight kind of sleep.  An ultrasound wand is inserted into the vagina and then a needle is guided through the vagina and the follicles are aspirated through a tube.  Those follicles are then sent to the lab where eggs are removed from those follicles, washed, and then fertilized with sperm and embryos are created.

After I woke up I felt cramping, and felt like I had pressure in my abdomen.  I felt that way for a few days until the swelling subsided and then I underwent an embryo transfer that didn’t work unfortunately.

What I wished they had of told me and prepared me for during my retrieval :

I had about 25 eggs retrieved. When there are many eggs retrieved waking up can be incredibly uncomfortable and downright painful.  I only wish I’d had morphine when I woke up.

Words like “most women are fine within about 48 hours”.  96 hours later when I was still swollen and feeling crappy I wanted to know what the word most meant.  It took me 7 days before the bloating went way.  Urinating wasn’t pleasant for about a week. So don’t rush getting back up on your feet take your time and heal.

Anesthesia and I are mortal enemies. I discovered that whatever they use to put you to sleep can make you really sick.  At least it did me.  I was so dizzy and nauseous for a full 24 hours. Had I known then what I know now I would have asked for various medications that combat post anesthesia sickness.

My husband and I didn’t realize he’d need to take the time to care for me. I thought this was going to be a no big deal procedure – I was wrong.

So the message here – as tons of questions, you can’t ask too many.  Keep Gatorade, Propel or any other sports kind of drink on hand, it will help the bloat go away faster.  Don’t feel ashamed to take your pain medicine, you don’t have to be Wonder Woman – and watch out for Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome which can have serious side effects.

Be kind to yourself – best of luck.