Steps In Vitro
A sterile vaginal ultrasound probe is used to guide a needle through the vaginal wall and into the follicle of the ovary. While long, the needle is not much wider than a needle used to draw blood from an arm vein.
Once the needle is inside the follicle, suction is created which pulls the egg and the fluid through the needle and into a collection tube. When one follicle is drained, the needle is gently repositioned to collect fluid from each adjacent follicle. This is done for both ovaries. The follicular fluid is given to the embryologist, who examines it under a microscope to find the eggs. The entire procedure takes approximately 20 minutes. After one hour of observation in the recovery room, patients are allowed to return to their home or hotel.