Tips to be prepared for your egg collection
Patients have often told me the day they most worry about is the day of their egg collection. I know for me, being prepared eases anxiety. As a senior nurse at Genea, I have heard many questions, and helped many patients prior to their “big day”. With the benefit of experience, here are my tips – a checklist if you like, of things to think about and organise prior to the day of your egg collection.
Organise some time off
At a minimum, you’ll need the day of the procedure off work. Some women also find they need an extra day at home. If you’ve not had an egg collection procedure before, play it safe and book two days personal leave off work. A Medical Certificate can be arranged through Genea or your Fertility Specialist.
Make sure you have arranged for a responsible adult to escort you home, and ideally stay with you overnight
This can be your partner (as long as they are not also having a procedure on the same day), your support person or anyone over 18 that you trust.
Plan your travel – don’t leave it until the last minute
If you’ll be travelling by car, investigate parking options (and choose something close-by) or book your taxi the night before (to arrive with plenty of time the next day). If you’ll be travelling by public transport, check timetables and choose a service which gets you to the clinic a little earlier than necessary (just to be safe); and check return times.
Think about whether you want to be awake or asleep during the egg collection procedure
You’ll need to discuss this well in advance with your Fertility Specialist, and there will be an additional cost if you use an anaesthetist.
If you have children, arrange care for them for the day of your egg collection
Unfortunately, children are not permitted in the day surgery and we cannot watch them for you.
If you have special dietary requirements, please pack and bring a light snack on the day
Most of our day surgeries will only have a small stock of bread (for toast); sweet biscuits; and regular milk (for tea or coffee) on offer. Particularly if you have had to fast, you may feel hungry or thirsty after your procedure.
Ensure you have paracetamol with or without codeine
These could be Panadol®
(avoid anti-inflammatories such as aspirin, ibuprofen, Nurofen®
) and a heat pack or hot water bottle on hand to ease any discomfort once you get home.
Have some sanitary pads or panty liners on hand to manage any post-operative spotting or bleeding once you get home
Tampons should not be used for one week after an egg collection, as this may encourage an infection to develop at the puncture site inside the vagina.
Ensure you have current ambulance cover for emergencies
Egg collections are very safe procedures, however, every procedure carries risks and in the event that you experience complications whilst in our care, Genea will arrange to transfer you from our day surgery to an appropriate facility via ambulance. If you experience complications whilst at home, our Nurses may also advise you call 000 and seek immediate medical attention. If you’re not insured, this could result in a hefty bill from the ambulance service, and so we recommend arranging or confirming your cover with a health fund well in advance.
Follow your Nurse’s instructions for your trigger injection to the tee!
Some patients find setting an alarm for 10-15 minutes prior to the trigger time allows some ‘breathing space’ to prepare yourself and the medication. This is particularly helpful if you are using a Pregnyl® trigger which is medication that needs to be mixed and drawn up. If you have any difficulties at all, or forget to take your trigger at the scheduled time, stop what you are doing and immediately call the Nurse’s emergency mobile number for advice (that’s what it’s for!).
When you receive your trigger instructions, your Nurse will let you know if you need to fast
You’ll normally only need to fast if you are having a general anaesthetic or sedation with an anaesthetist. Fasting means no eating or drinking (including chewing gum) for at least six hours prior to your procedure. If your procedure is early in the morning, this isn’t too difficult if you have your last meal the night before and skip breakfast. If however, your egg collection is booked in for late morning or afternoon, I’d strongly recommend setting an alarm and having a drink and something light to eat (cereal, toast or a sandwich) about six-and-a-half to seven hours prior to your procedure. In addition to feeling hungry and cranky, fasting for extended periods of time may make you feel light-headed or dizzy, can cause you to have a low blood pressure, and could make cannulation more difficult (this is the insertion of a small needle-like tube into a vein in your hand or arm for administration of the pain relief and sedation during your procedure).
If you take regular medications (other than the recent fertility medications), check with your Fertility Specialist or Nurses as to whether you should take these on the day of the egg collection
In most cases, you will be ok to take them (with a sip of water even if you are fasting); but there are certain medications which cannot be taken close to the time of any surgery. Please ask us if you are unsure.
Plan to wear comfortable clothes to the day surgery on the day of your egg collection
With the exception of shoes, you’ll need to strip from the waist down when you change into a hospital gown, so choose something in two pieces so you can keep something on top (helps keep you warm as the day surgery can be quite cool and may make you feel less vulnerable and exposed). Something loose around your middle will also be more comfortable after your procedure. Choose flat shoes with closed toes (no high heels as you need to be as steady as possible on your feet; and no open toes so as to protect your feet in the clinical environment) – you’ll keep your shoes on and be given disposable shoe covers to go over the top.
Leave any jewellery or valuables at home
You’ll have use of a locker for your personal effects whilst in our care; however, we cannot take responsibility for these items and you do not want to accidentally leave anything behind after the procedure.
Do not wear any fragrances including perfume or aftershave
Strong odours may be detrimental to your sensitive eggs, and it is best to minimise any potential points of exposure.
Keep the Nurses’ emergency mobile and general reception phone numbers handy
This is in case you have any issues or hold-ups on the day.
If you are an existing patient, please contact your Nurse or call them on 1300 880 079
and we will be better able to assist you with your call.
Disclaimer: Please note that this is a Genea Group blog and as such information may not be relevant for all clinics. We advise that you consult clinics directly for further information.