My IVF Journey, Extraction and the Waiting Game

My IVF Journey, Extraction and the Waiting Game

Hey There! Hope you all have been enjoying my IVF Journey series (Starting Your IVF Journey – How to Choose A Treatment Center and Getting in the Best Headspace and Starting Your IVF Medications + Injections). Today I wanted to share what comes after the hormone injections and treatment which is the extraction process. Just to recap! The purpose of the IVF hormone injections is to produce as many mature follicles as possible and depending on the size and quality of the follicles they will be used to create your em-babies! I’m sharing my personal results from our first round of IVF to give you an idea of how IVF math kinda works. **Results will vary based on each individual.

Extraction Process

Once you’ve been given the go ahead from the doctor to initiate the ‘trigger shot’ then your scheduled extraction will be for the following day. You will arrive to the clinic at the scheduled time of your procedure and they will want to make sure that someone is available to drive you home since you will be under anesthesia during the procedure. The entire procedure takes about 30-minutes but you will need to schedule about 90 minutes to account for check-in, wake up, and check-out.

Since you are put under anesthesia you will virtually feel no pain during the procedure. However, after the procedure is where the discomfort, bloating, and pain kicks in. Let me explain why because I was very much confused myself. Your body creates a shit ton of follicles following the IVF injections and those follicles would have been released during your next menstrual cycle in the form of blood. Well now that you’ve extracted them from your body, mind you a significantly higher amount then would have been released in a normal cycle. Your body now refills that empty cavity with water.

This all sounded simple enough to me. However I didn’t realize that your body filling up with that much fluid actually hurt! I mean hurt hurt! I woke up about 15 lbs. heavier and my entire abdominal to pelvic region in pain from inflammation.

Keep in mind that the average size of a mature follicles is 15mm-25mm. Now multiply that by the number of follicles you have and imagine how much fluid each follicle potentially held. That’s a lot of fluid!

They will send you home with some pain killers and have you monitor your weight over the next week to ensure that the swelling and fluid levels are going down. I would say that it took my body about 5-7 days to get back to normal with the pain and swelling getting better each day. It is important to monitor your weight to ensure proper healing!

The Waiting Game….

After your extraction process, go home and get some rest! The next 5 days become a mental toll because you’ll want to know how many viable eggs you produced, how many went under normal reproduction, etc. Just remember regardless of the results, you did your absolute best and you should be proud of your body and how strong it is to go through such an endeavor. I’m sharing my results below but keep in mind that results will always vary! I’m only sharing to give you an idea of how IVF numbers work. At first I was a bit disappointed with my #howitstartedvshowitsgoing but now I’m so proud of how far I’ve come on this journey!

Also, depending on what you opted for your wait time may vary. Some clinics will transfer a 3-day old embryo while others (like mine) will transfer 5-day old embryos. Additionally, depending on if you’re doing testing or not will also determine your wait time. For example, we wanted to do genetic testing for all of our embryos so they were stored in cryo for about two months before the transfer so our wait time was quite long to get all the results back.

Let’s Do Some Math (results will vary for each patient)

30 mature follicles

20 usable mature follicles for reproduction

11 em-babies that went through normal reproduction

7 em-babies to be used and saved (other 4 from above were recommended to be discarded as they may have other genetic conditions)

So out of the 30 follicles that I had extracted I could only really use about 7 which is why the hormone injections are so important to try and get as many usable follicles as possible.


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