Oocyte retrieval is performed approximately 36 hours after the hCG injection. The ovaries are scanned transvaginally then each follicle is then punctured using a long, sharp needle which is secured by a metal guide on the outside of the ultrasound probe. The needle punctures the wall of the vagina then into the ovary. As each follicle is punctured the fluid inside is remove with gentle suction, this aspirate is then passed into the laboratory where an embryologist will examine it carefully under a microscope to try to find an egg. If an egg is not found the follicle will be flushed with warm media to try to rinse out the egg. The eggs are then placed in an incubator at 37?C.
Oocyte retrieval is usually performed under a light general anesthesia or local anesthesia.