Arguably one of the most exciting times for IVF patients is the egg retrieval, as this is often seen as the first step in a woman’s fertility journey. Egg retrieval can often be one of the bigger decisions regarding your fertility treatment, and it’s important that you feel informed about the process and what to expect.

Preparing For Egg Retrieval

IVF can bring on many feelings, including excitement, anxiousness, and apprehension. Knowing what the egg retrieval process entails can help to ease some of the nerves and leave you feeling comfortable and confident. Here at Carolinas Fertility Institute, we have compiled a list of ways to prepare yourself for the exciting journey of starting your family. 

1. Avoid Unhealthy Lifestyle Behaviors

When you are preparing for egg retrieval, it is important to steer clear of all unhealthy lifestyle behaviors. This includes smoking cessation, limiting or quitting alcohol intake, avoiding risky behaviors, and watching your intake of high-fat and processed foods. For a comprehensive list of things you should refrain from to ensure a successful process, reach out to your healthcare provider.  

2. Consider Your Diet

Historically, food is considered medicine. When preparing for egg retrieval, it is essential to take a look at your diet. One of the best diets you can follow when undergoing any assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedure is the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet generally emphasizes vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, whole grains, olive oil, and omega-3 fatty acids. Those following this diet should stay away from red meat, sugary drinks, and butter. The benefits go far beyond preparing yourself for egg retrieval, lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease, supporting healthy blood sugar, and slowing the decline of brain function as you age. 

3. Take Fertility Supplements

Just as women preparing for pregnancy should take prenatal vitamins, those preparing for egg retrieval should take fertility supplements. Supplements help to ensure your body is receiving the right amount of nutrients in order to protect your eggs while improving ovarian function. Some fertility supplements include folic acid, vitamin B12, zinc, selenium, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider before starting any supplements or medications. 

4. Avoid Unhealthy Chemicals

There are a number of unhealthy chemicals that can interfere with a woman’s hormones, reproductive health, and prenatal development. These are called endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and are found in a number of different household products. Some products to steer clear of when preparing for egg retrieval include

  • Formaldehyde: Nail polish
  • Parabens, triclosan, and benzophenone: Cosmetics, moisturizers, and soaps
  • BPA: Food-packaging materials

Other items that can be toxic include plastics, some medication coatings, nonstick cooking tools, and some electronics.

5. Know What To Expect Post Egg Retrieval

Just as knowing what to expect before egg retrieval, knowing what to expect after is equally important. Prior to the procedure, some women may experience bloating, cramping, constipation, and spotting. Most women should be able to return to their daily activities 48 hours after the procedure. Should you have other symptoms, such as excessive pain, a fever, or the inability to eat or drink, it is important to contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Roughly 9 to 11 days after the retrieval, women will be able to find out the results of their transfer. During this time, it is important to keep yourself busy and take care of your mental health during the wait to see if the procedure was successful.

If you have questions or concerns about IVF or other fertility treatments, the team at Carolinas Fertility Institute is here to help. The physicians and staff at our North Carolina fertility clinic have decades of experience in providing personalized and affordable care to patients on their fertility journey. To make an appointment, call our Charlotte office at (844) 686-2233 or our office in the Triad at (336) 448-9100.