If you have experienced infertility, then one of the treatments that your doctor might recommend is IVF.
There are a number of other medications and fertility treatments that you might have tried first. But if these proved ineffective, then you might be referred for IVF.
IVF is a treatment that has existed for 40 years, and it is a very intense fertility treatment. For many couples going through IVF, it is considered to be their “last chance” of conceiving a baby that is biologically theirs.
So, there is often a lot riding on the success of this treatment.
As part of IVF, eggs are retrieved by a fertility specialist in order to fertilize them as part of the treatment.
But if you are going through IVF, you might find yourself wondering what the average number of eggs retrieved during this treatment is.
Read on to find out!
What Is IVF?
IVF, or In Vitro Fertilization, is a type of fertility treatment that has existed for over 40 years and is responsible for millions of children around the world.
It involves the retrieval of both eggs and sperm, fertilizing them in a lab, and then implanting them into the woman’s womb after fertilization.
IVF is a very intense fertility treatment, specifically for the woman in the relationship. Harvesting sperm for IVF is fairly straightforward, but harvesting the eggs in order to fertilize them is a lot harder.
In order for IVF to have a good chance of success, multiple eggs must be retrieved.
Women typically only release 1 egg per month during their menstrual cycle, so hormones must be used to stimulate the ovaries to grow multiple eggs. These hormones are what make IVF so intense.
If you are looking at possibly going through IVF during your journey to parenthood, then you probably have lots of questions.
One of the biggest questions might be how many eggs will be retrieved. There are a number of factors that will impact this, so let’s take a look at what they are.
What Factors Impact Egg Retrieval?
When it comes to IVF treatment, there will always be a number of eggs that will be considered “optimal”.
This essentially means that there will be a number that your fertility specialist will aim for in order to give IVF the best chance of success.
However, some factors will impact the number of eggs that can be retrieved during this part of IVF. Those factors include the following.
One of the biggest factors that will impact IVF is your age. Unfortunately for women, our age has a huge impact on our fertility, so your age will impact the number of eggs that can be harvested.
Women are born with all the eggs that they will ever have, so as you age the number of eggs that you carry will reduce and reduce.
So, if you are an older woman going through IVF, your specialist might be able to harvest fewer eggs than if you were younger.
Your Ovarian Reserve
Age has an impact on your ovarian reserve, however, your starting ovarian reserve is totally unique to you. This means that two women born on the exact same day might not necessarily have the same amount of ovarian reserve.
The number of eggs that a woman has in her ovarian reserve can deplete even before she is born. So, if you naturally have less ovarian reserve, the number of eggs that can be harvested through IVF will be lower.
Your Medication Levels
Finally, how your body responds to the medication given to stimulate your ovaries will also impact the number of eggs retrieved during IVF.
If you naturally have a lot of eggs, then less medication will be required to stimulate your ovaries. If you have a small number of eggs, then more medication will be required.
Getting the amount of medication right can be tricky, especially if you struggle with the effects of the hormones on your body. So the amount of medication you take will impact how many eggs can be retrieved.
What Is The Optimal Number Of Eggs Retrieved For IVF?
However, even with all the factors we have looked at above considered, there is still an optimal number of eggs that most fertility specialists will aim to retrieve during IVF.
That optimal number is 15. But the average is generally between 12 and 14.
If you are new to IVF, then we totally understand that the number “15” can be pretty intimidating.
As we have said, women only produce 1 egg per cycle usually, so producing 15 at once can be a scary thought. However, there is a good reason as to why most fertility specialists aim for 15 eggs.
Of the 15 eggs retrieved during this stage of IVF, not all of them will be viable.
If you are going through IVF, it is possibly due to an issue with the quality of your eggs, so retrieving a larger amount increases your chances of success. That is why fertility specialists aim for 15 eggs, even though this isn’t always possible.
In short, the average number of eggs retrieved during IVF is usually between 12 and 14 eggs. However, most fertility specialists will aim to retrieve 15.
Retrieving 15 eggs increases the chances of there being high-quality eggs among those harvested. This in turn increases the chances of the IVF being successful.
We hope you’ve found this information useful!