When undergoing assisted reproduction treatment it is normal that many doubts arise, although among the most frequent are: What is the ovarian puncture? Will it be a painful process? At Ovoclinic we want to dispel false myths and explain this important phase of the process that will allow you to fulfil your dream of becoming pregnant.
What is ovarian puncture?
It is a simple procedure, performed under sedation, in which through a puncture of the ovarian follicles it will be possible to obtain the eggs to start the treatment. In a matter of minutes, we will have the eggs that will be used in the In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) process. At the same time, ovarian puncture is a necessary step if the patient wishes to freeze her eggs, thus preserving her fertility.
How is an ovarian puncture performed?
The ovarian puncture must be programmed before the woman ovulates, and the follicles of the ovary are monitored until they reach between 16 and 18 mm. Between 6 and 9 oocytes will be obtained per cycle, depending on the characteristics of the patient. Always bearing in mind that not all the follicles counted before the puncture contain oocytes, nor will all the oocytes obtained be of good quality or present the appropriate state of maturation.
Below, we will detail how an ovarian puncture is performed.
It is usual for a woman to produce only one oocyte per month, which will gradually mature in the follicle. To increase the number of oocytes, it will be necessary to resort to a process of prior stimulation:
- Programmed ovarian stimulation: This is carried out through the administration of hormonal medication for one or two weeks. Thanks to this technique, the number of eggs will increase by 8 to 10 eggs from the initial number. During this process, the Ovoclinic medical team will carry out the necessary controls so that we achieve excellent results during this phase.
- Controls from the beginning of the cycle: After this ovarian stimulation, a series of ultrasound controls are carried out from the beginning of the cycle. The main purpose is to check that the follicles have the right diameter.
- We administer the HCG hormone: This hormone will help ovulation to occur between 36 and 48 hours later.
Steps to follow during the process
Once the scheduled ovarian stimulation stage has been successfully completed, the patient is ready for the procedure to begin.
On the day the procedure is to be performed, the patient should:
- Arrive 30 minutes early
- Go on an empty stomach
- Attend as relaxed as possible
During this procedure we will use a transvaginal ultrasound machine, together with a needle to perform the extraction of the oocytes by follicular aspiration. Once we obtain the follicles, the oocytes are separated from the follicular fluid and deposited in their Petri dishes.
Analysis in the laboratory:
In the laboratory, the results obtained will be analysed, discarding those immature oocytes that are not suitable for fertilisation.
Recovery phase after ovarian puncture
After the ovarian puncture, the sedation will gradually wear off. After the procedure, the patient will be observed in the recovery room for a while. After this time, she can return home.
It is advisable not to exert yourself for 24 hours after the operation, as slight vaginal bleeding may occur.