Once the monitoring of follicle maturation is completed, it is decided when to proceed to egg collection and the procedure is scheduled. Eggs are recovered using a needle pushed through the vaginal wall and into the ovary, and then the eggs are analyzed in the laboratory. The recovery is assisted by use of an ultrasound probe. It is fairly painless, fast, and her partner may also be present during the procedure. If requested, an anaesthesiologist may perform sedation. Her partner will be asked to provide a semen sample close to the time of egg collection.
Some men may have difficulty in providing a semen sample at a specific moment.
If her partner is concerned about this possibility, he must talk with his doctor and possibly give the sperm before egg collection to a Sperm Bank for freezing, from where it will be supplied to the laboratory on the day of egg collection.
Eggs have a characteristic morphology. In the middle the is the oocyte, which is surrounded by a layer of guard cells with a characteristic texture and morphology, called the cumulus.