Egg collection (oocyte retrieval)
There are some hazards associated with the egg collection procedure:
- Anaesthetic and sedation.
There are always risks associated with the use of a general anaesthetic, but these are very rare. Most commonly egg collection is carried out using a sedative and analgaesic injection which, although not completely risk free, remains a very safe procedure.
- Egg recovery
The needle which is used in the recovery of the eggs could inadvertently damage organs such as the bowel, bladder or blood vessels close to the ovary. It must be stressed that these complications are very rare. If they do occur then admission to hospital for observation may be required and in very severe cases open abdominal surgery may be needed to treat the complication.
Very occasionally a pelvic infection can begin after the egg collection procedure. This is much more likely if a vaginal infection is already present. This can sometimes become quite serious and require treatment to drain an abscess or even remove an ovary. We do take steps to minimise the chances of this happening:
- Swabs are taken in advance of the egg collection to make sure that there is no infection of the vagina. If there is an infection present it can then be treated.
- A dose of antibiotics is given during the egg collection to prevent any infection from occurring.