IVF Fertility FAQs
Atlanta IVF Treatments
Read these answers to frequently asked questions about IVF from our knowledgeable
and experienced Atlanta Center for Reproductive Medicine doctors.
How long does egg retrieval take?
Egg retrieval typically takes under 30 minutes, depending on how many follicles
Is the egg retrieval painful?
No, since the retrieval is done under anesthesia. Our anesthesia specialists
use medications which sedate you but this is not full anesthesia such
as that used for typical surgeries. The benefit of this approach is that
patients don’t feel or remember anything, yet do not require a breathing
tube. You will have few of or none of the typical side effects of full
anesthesia such as nausea and vomiting.
Will the egg retrieval damage my ovaries?
No. Some women, such as egg donors, may undergo multiple Egg Retrieval
procedures and there is no data showing any long term complications from
the procedures. Of course there are short term risks such as infection
or bleeding which can occur, but thankfully these are extremely rare events.
Studies have shown that ovaries seem to be unaffected by stimulation and
Is bleeding expected after the egg retrieval?
Light spotting and cramping are common after an egg retrieval. This bleeding
is most likely the result of needle punctures in the vaginal wall. Bleeding
and cramping should be minor and will most likely be less intense than
your regular period.
Is it normal to retrieve an egg from every follicle?
Not necessarily. Although we will usually get an egg from most large follicles
(over 15 mm after stimulation), smaller follicles only occasionally yield
mature eggs. Most women will have follicles of different sizes after ovulation
induction, some of which contain immature eggs or post mature eggs, or
no eggs at all.
Is the embryo transfer painful?
No, it is similarto intrauterine insemination (IUI). Usually the woman feels only the speculum and nothing else.
Is bed rest recommended after the embryo transfer?
We recommend that you take it easy following transfer for the rest of the
day, but routine activities can be resumed the next day. If there is an
increased risk of ovarian hyperstimulation, we will recommend reducing
activity for a few days until the hyperstimulation resolves.
Is assisted hatching performed on all embryos?
Typically yes. This is to overcome any “hardness” of the shell
(the zona pellucida) surrounding the embryo. Research shows that in some
groups (e.g. women over 38 years of age, previous failed IVF cycles, unusually
thick zonae pellucidae, embryos grown in culture, eg IVF embryos)
assisted hatching will increase the implantation and pregnancy rates.
What is done with any "leftover" embryos?
Embryos that have developed to the blastocyst stage but are not transferred
during the transfer cycle will be cryopreserved (frozen) if that is your wish.
How soon after IVF can a pregnancy test be performed?
We schedule a pregnancy test 10 days after embryo transfer.
How long of a wait is recommended between a failed IVF cycle and trying again?
We recommend waiting one full menstrual cycle before undergoing another
IVF stimulation. It can take up to 6 weeks for inflammation to resolve;
therefore, it is reasonable to wait a similar amount of time before restarting
If you have further questions about IVF, feel free to contact us