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Can egg retrieval damage ovaries?

2 fertility expert(s) answered this question

Answer from: Patricio Calamera, MD, MSc, ObGyn

Gynaecologist, Specialist in Reproductive Medicine Ginemed
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Can egg retrieval damage the ovaries? No, I don’t think so. Not in the long term of course. Doing an oocyte pick up is putting the needle through vagina into the ovary which is sort of a “damage” but it is a very small one and of course a needed one to get oocytes. It is minimal what we do to ovaries and they get better very quickly after the oocytes pick up.

Answer from: Alpesh Doshi

Embryologist, Consultant Embryologist and Co founder at IVF London
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Any surgical procedure has a risk and the risk is that there could be extensive bleeding as a result of manipulating the ovaries because ultimately what we’re doing in an egg retrieval, is we’re passing a very thin needle into all those follicles that are present in the ovary. Blood vessels actually cover the ovary entirely in many places so it’s very difficult to see very tiny blood vessels. In 99%of the cases there are no complications because the ultrasound nowadays gives us very extensive imaging of where most of these blood vessels are running ,so we would avoid them when puncturing these follicles. So that we don’t hit a blood vessel or an artery which leads to a higher level of bleeding. Most tiny amounts of bleeding are immediately dealt with and the bleeding stops within no time. But in 1 or 2% of the cases bleeding can happen from a larger vessel. There is a risk of infection as well because it’s a needling process so essentially there’s a very small risk that the bowel could be scraped as a result of the egg collection and there could be peritoneal or intra abdomen infection as well. We do give antibiotics as a prophylactic procedure, which can prevent infection so the patient is given some strong dose of antibiotics after egg collection, so that any kind of risk of infection is absolutely minimized. But there is always a risk however small that risk is. But by and large the procedure is very straightforward. Patients walk out of the clinic on their own even though they’ve had sedation and anesthetic and they’re absolutely fine to go home within an hour and a half of that collection .

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