Our case Manager who has diligently been sharing her donation experience with us has officially completed her cycle!   Whoohoo!!!

Read more about her egg retrieval below…


Thursday 2/10/11 was the big day!

Thursday morning I woke up, threw on some comfortable pajamas and had my brother drive me to the retrieval.  When I showed up, they brought me back to the surgical suite where they had me change into my gown and they set me up with an IV right away.  As soon as the anesthesiologist set me up with the IV, she gave me some sort of relaxant that made me very loopy.  I asked a lot of the same questions and rambled until they were finally ready to put me to sleep.  The next thing I know, I’m waking up and a nurse is in the room with me.  I asked, “are we already done?”  She said “Yup, all done!” The nurse gave me a bottle of Gatorade to drink and Ritz crackers (which were absolutely delicious!)  She took the IV out and gave me the after-care instructions.  When I was ready, I sat up and changed back into my pajamas and they wheeled me out to my car so my brother could drive me home.

The post egg retrieval instructions included the following:

  • Activity – It mentioned that I would probably want to eat then take a nap once I left the office and that was spot on!  While I didn’t need to stay in bed all day, it’s a good idea to get plenty of rest.  Strenuous activities should be limited for the first two weeks post-retrieval and include no heavy lifting, high impact activity, abdominal crunches or intercourse.
  • Pain – Menstrual type cramping and bloating is expected.  I was prescribed Vicodin.  They mentioned that if my pain was not subdued by the pain reliever then to call them.
  • Nausea – I was warned that I may experience some minor nausea for the first two days following retrieval.  I was also told to avoid fatty, oily, spicy or heavily seasoned foods if I became nauseous.  I am to maintain a balanced diet high in fiber and electrolytes.
  • Vaginal Bleeding or Discharge – I was told that I might experience slight discharge or spotting following the retrieval and that if I had heavy or persistent bleeding to contact the doctor.  It was advised that I wear a panty liner for 48 hours following retrieval.  This was very accurate as well.  I had very, very light spotting for 1-2 days following retrieval.
  • Bathing – Showering and shampooing is fine following retrieval but avoid baths for one week following retrieval.
  • Intercourse – I was told to refrain from intercourse until after my next period, in about 12 days.
  • Work – Most women are able to return to work the day following retrieval, of course refraining from strenuous activity, heavy lifting, etc.

The morning following retrieval, I woke up feeling nauseous and had two more quick episodes of nausea later that day.  It seemed to be out of the realm of “slight nausea” so I called the doctor just to let them know.  They called in a prescription for an anti-nausea pill for me which helped immensely.  I also became extremely bloated and very uncomfortable.  The doctor saw me for a follow up appointment on Saturday so make sure that I was doing okay and said that I had some slight fluid build up but nothing that wouldn’t go away on it’s own.  While I have felt like I’ve just eaten Thanksgiving dinner for the past few days, it would subside soon.  He also mentioned that the nausea could have been from the Vicodin or my high estrogen levels so he switched me to Tylenol with Codine. The doctor told me to get out and do something, not to lay in bed all day, so I went shopping on Saturday.  When I got home I took a nap but it was nice to get out and do something.

Today, Monday, I’m still uncomfortable and bloated but am back to work.   The nurse called me this morning to see how I’m feeling and said that if I’m not feeling better by the end of the day, that she would bring me back in tomorrow morning for another follow-up appointment.  She’s asked me to monitor my weight and to let her know if I gain more than 2 pounds per day.  So far, I think that I’ve only gained 3 pounds since the retrieval.  This is not weight from fat, but rather weight from fluid/water retention.

All side effects should lessen day by day but should completely diminish after my next period.

The surgical suite had a little window on the back wall where the doctor could hand the eggs that he retrieved straight to the embryologist.  The eggs would be fertilized immediately.  Usually about half of the eggs retrieved become embryos.  The clinic grows these embryos in a petri dish for 3-5 days and transfer (typically) 1 or 2 of the best quality embryos to the recipient mother on the 3rd or 5th day.  The rest are generally frozen for another transfer if the first is unsuccessful, or for siblings in the future!

Tomorrow is day 5 so tomorrow should be the transfer day for my recipients.  They’ll be in my thoughts! About 10 days after the embryo transfer, the recipients will go back to the doctor for a pregnancy test.  My fingers will be crossed until then!

The last few weeks have been full of hormones, medications, appointments, doctors, nurses, side effects, etc. but I wouldn’t take it back for anything!!! I just hope more than anything that the little pink plus sign makes an appearance soon! 🙂


**Please note that all cycles are different and instructions will be given to each donor by the facilitating physician.

by Julia McConnell | Last updated on : June 26, 2023