Egg Collection / ICSI

Pre-retrieval: Drugs, shots and monitoring

Having your eggs retrieved generally starts with two processes: down-regulation and stimulation.Let us explain: On a monthly basis, a woman’s body produces certain hormones—more specifically, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)—that trigger the development and subsequent release of one mature egg. Down-regulation suppresses this response so that the development and release of multiple eggs can be controlled.

A patient undergoing treatment at an IVF center in Delhi will be prepared for the cycle by administrating a trigger shot of hCG. This hormone ensures that the oocytes (eggs) are mature at the time of egg collection. Egg collection is a surgical procedure done at an out-patient basis. A fine, hollow needle is inserted in the vagina using ultrasound guidance. The needle is guided to the ovary and follicular fluid is aspirated from it.

For egg collection

Usually, egg collection is regarded as a safe and simple procedure, provided it is done by an expert. It is better to have it done during the morning or afternoon. The woman should not eat or drink anything a night before egg collection. She has to be at the clinic half a hour before the procedure.

The medical team would also assess the overall health of the patient, with questions related to health conditions and allergies. 


Sperm sample

The male will collect a sperm sample by masturbation the day of the egg retrieval (occasionally a second sample is needed as well). He should abstain from ejaculation between 1 and 3 days before giving the sample. Alternatively, if frozen sperm is being used, we will thaw the sperm vial(s) once we know we have eggs.

In conventional IVF, the eggs and sperm are mixed together in a dish and the sperm fertilises the egg ‘naturally’. However to have a chance that this will occur, large numbers of actively swimming normal sperm are required.

ICSI refers to the laboratory procedure where a single sperm is picked up with a fine glass needle and is injected directly into each egg (Figure **). This is carried out in the laboratory by experienced embryologists using specialist equipment. Very few sperm are required and the ability of the sperm to penetrate the egg is no longer important as this has been assisted by the ICSI technique.