If you are going to carry out a treatment or you are interested in what it consists of and how this technique is performed in assisted reproduction, below you can find everything you need to know.

The follicular puncture (also known as ovary puncture) is a fundamental intervention within the In Vitro Fertilisation treatments. It consists of the aspiration of the woman´s ovarian follicles to retrieve her eggs.

Naturally, one egg is released from the ovary each month: this is the process known as ovulation. But in order to carry out a successful IVF cycle, we need a good number of eggs. For this reason, the patient receives a hormonal ovarian stimulation treatment that favours the maturation and ovulation of as many oocytes as possible.

The next step is to retrieve these eggs before they spontaneously leave the ovary and we are unable to locate them. For this reason, follicular puncture must be performed when the follicles have reached the right size and natural ovulation has not yet occurred. During stimulation, follicular development is monitored by means of ultrasound scans and blood tests to determine when the optimum moment has arrived.

What does it consist of?

This is when a follicular puncture is programmed. The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia and is painless. A thin needle, guided by ultrasound, is used to access the ovarian follicles and aspirate their contents. The obtained sample is then taken to the laboratory to be analysed and determine how many of the follicles are mature eggs (these are what will be fertilised later on). The Doctor or laboratory manager will then inform the patient how the extraction went and the number of follicles which were extracted.

Punción folicular

It is a safe and effective technique that can last between 10 and 15 minutes. Rarely are there side effects, however occasionally there can be slight abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding or mild discomfort. These side effects usually disappear after one or two days.

If you are going to have a follicle puncture, keep in mind the following

•  You will spend two or three hours resting in one of our private rooms until you have fully recovered from the anaesthetic and are fit and well.

•  On this day, you must remain rested. During the course of the day, you will be able to eat and drink normally.

•  We recommend that you come accompanied.

•  You will have to fast for eight hours before the operation (not even drinking water).

•  Do not wear make-up, perfume, contact lenses, metal objects (piercings, rings, earrings, etc.) or false or enamelled nails.