The process of collecting oocytes (eggs) by aspirating the follicular fluid is called ovum pickup (OPU). It is also known as oocyte aspiration or oocyte collection. You may be sedated or given an epidural anesthetic before having the OPU procedure done. Follicles of size 16 to 18mm are good for optimal OPU. If your follicles are not attained this size, your doctor may ask to continue stimulation for a few more days. Oocytes are too tiny (125-150mm) to be seen by ultrasonography on their own. By placing an ultrasonic probe with a needle guide into the vagina, the follicles, each of which contains a single egg, may then be aspirated.
The ovary is then pressed against the vaginal wall while being clasped by the rectum. To improve oocyte recovery, 1 cm of each follicle’s fluid is drained and then flushed a few times.
What is the process of ovum pick-up?
Ovum pick-up is the procedure used to remove eggs or oocytes from a woman’s ovaries as part of fertility treatment. IVF (in vitro fertilization) is then used to fertilize the eggs outside of the body. Ovum pickup is a brief process in which the eggs are drawn from the ovarian follicles using a needle, according to the most basic definition. It is a surgical operation; however it is typically not difficult or uncomfortable. It is also known as follicle puncture in medical terms.
Picking up the ovum is a crucial step in the fertility process. Your partner’s or a donor’s sperm may be used to fertilize the mature eggs removed from your ovaries. Ovum pick-up is the process through which your eggs will be extracted and used if you are the egg donor. In order to protect their eggs, older women can benefit from ovarian pick-up and freezing.
How to prepare for ovum pickup?
You must complete a number of stages before the ovum pick-up operation. The list of them is below.
- Checkup and tests: Your fertility specialist may require you to have fertility tests and to discuss the course of treatment for infertility. Before you move forward with the ovum-pickup surgery and the fertility treatment, you might need to undergo a few tests after you have a clear understanding of what is involved. To examine the state of your general health, an OBGYN might recommend a number of different tests.
- Hormone injections: During the cycle before the ovum pick-up, you will receive hormone injections. The last injection, referred to as the trigger, will be administered immediately before the procedure (in less than 36 hours).
- Fasting: If you are having the surgery in the morning, you must fast all night. If not, you must go at least 4 hours without consuming any liquids during your 6-hour fast. Aside from specific types of medications, such as those required for chronic disorders like diabetes, heart disease, and thyroid disease, you shouldn’t use any other kind of pharmaceuticals.
- Follicle monitoring: As part of your therapy, your follicles will be regularly checked so that the ovum pick-up may be arranged at the appropriate moment. So that your mature eggs can be extracted before you ovulate, the ovum pick-up is done right before ovulation.
- Trigger injection: Around 24-36 hours prior to the surgery, you must also receive an injection of the hormone HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin). The last trigger injection discussed before is this one. It guarantees that you won’t become pregnant before the operation.
Before the ovum pick-up procedure
Before the ovum pick-up operation your health care provider will ask you few details in order to provide information about your health and the health of your partner. You should discuss any health concerns you may have in this. You must let others know if you are feeling ill or queasy, if your stomach is upset, or if you have a fever. Your vein will be punctured with a needle (referred to as a venous catheter) in order to supply any necessary drugs or fluids. You must use the restroom so that your bladder is empty before the surgery. This makes puncturing the tissue with the needle simpler.
What to expect during the ovum pickup?
To ensure that you don’t experience any pain or discomfort throughout the surgery, you will first be given anesthesia. General anesthetic or local (intravenous) anesthesia are both options for performing the surgery. The procedure will subsequently be performed by the gynecologist surgeon. The process might take 20 to 30 minutes, but it also might go more quickly. Under ultrasound guidance, a long, thin needle is inserted via the vaginal opening during the surgery. Finding the ovaries and follicles is made easier by the ultrasound. A needle is gently pushed into the follicles during the ovum pick-up procedure to collect the follicular fluid, which contains the eggs.
Is Ovum pickup painful?
The procedure is usually painless. Your partner’s semen is used for IVF fertilization. In case he has some issues,your doctor may use donor sperm for fertilization of your eggs. This is done on the actual day of the ovum pick-up. It may also be carried out thereafter.
What happens after the procedure?
You will need to take a little nap after the procedure to let the anesthesia wear off. Your body will be free of the venous catheter. Do not drive yourself and stay away from long distance travel. The injectable drugs’ effects won’t disappear fully right away. After the ovum pick-up, you can eat regular food. After ovum pick-up, there are typically no significant symptoms. You can notice spotting or minor vaginal bleeding as moderate side effects. In addition, if you do encounter symptoms, they could consist of:
- Experiencing a thirst or mouth feeling dry
- Pelvic discomfort, heaviness, or soreness
- In rare instances, nausea may occur.
When to report the clinic after ovum pickup?
You should go to the clinic as soon as possible if you develop any severe side effects, such as severe lower abdominal discomfort, fainting, more severe-than-mild vaginal bleeding, or fever.
Some precautions after ovum pick-up are:
- Avoid taking your own car to work.
- Refrain from working on the day of the ovum pickup.
- For a few days, stay away from water-related activities like swimming or taking a bath.
- Until the vagina heals, refrain from sexual activity for a few days.
Do and Don’ts after ovum pick up?
- Drink plenty of water
- Don’t hold urine for a longer interval, frequent urination is advisable
- Take lot of fruits and vegetables
- Avoid fast and spicy food
The procedure of fertility treatment can assist you in producing the mature eggs you require, which can then be picked up at the appropriate moment for retrieval. IVF will then be used to fertilize them. Visit a fertility clinic if you and your partner are worried about your fertility. Depending on your problems and worries, you can get the precise fertility tests you require.