A guest post by an Egg Donor
One question that is frequently asked about an egg donation retrieval is will I be awake? The answer is- sort of.
The medications used at clinics for pain relief and relaxation during egg retrieval can vary from clinic to clinic. Typically, most clinics in Canada use a combination of Versed (midazolam) and Fentanyl. Usually, these medications are given via intravenous line (IV). This commences while you’re getting prepped for the retrieval. At times, this is referred to as “Twilight sedation” or “Conscious sedation”. Occasionally around the cervix a local freezing is used. Not all clinics use this (and I didn’t notice any difference personally).
Now Fentanyl has been in the news quite a bit lately. However, when administered in correct doses by a doctor it’s a fairly safe medication that will be important in helping control your pain during the procedure. It has a shorter half-life than other pain control medications which means your recovery time will be quicker. Versed is a sedative that will help you relax (I know I’m always nervous just before retrieval no matter how many times I go through it!). Versed often has an amnesia effect on most people so depending on how much the doctor gives (and this varies quite a bit from clinic to clinic) you might feel like you’ve slept through the whole thing or have a very patchy memory.
You will have an oxygen and heart rate monitor hooked up to assess your vital signs during the whole process and afterwards, while you’re recovering. The egg retrieval itself is actually quite a short procedure, typically lasting between 15-30 minutes. If you are feeling pain during the procedure, you can request to have a bit more pain control added to your IV line.
Recovery takes a couple hours but isn’t too bad. I often feel a bit groggy coming out of sedation. I’ve felt a bit nauseous (and a few times have had to vomit, but usually I feel better after that). You’ll be released from the clinic with a companion when you start to get more “with it”. It’s important to have someone who can leave the clinic with you and hang out for a bit at home/the hotel to make sure everything is ok. You’ll likely just want to have a big nap, then a snack (as you’ll have been fasting starting around midnight the night before- depending on what the clinic instructions are). Afterwards, you should be feeling pretty much back to normal.
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