Spinal anesthesia versus intravenous sedation for transvaginal oocyte retrieval: reproductive outcome, side-effects and recovery profiles

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Publication Date


Document Type



Oocyte Retrieval; Fertilization in Vitro; Anesthesia, Obstetrical; Anesthesia, Intravenous; Anesthesia, Spinal


Anesthesiology | Obstetrics and Gynecology


Transvaginal ultrasonically guided oocyte retrieval is commonly performed as part of in vitro fertilization efforts. The impact of anesthetic management on patient outcome from this procedure has not been well characterized. At our institution, patients are offered a choice of either heavy intravenous sedation or spinal anesthesia with minimal or no sedatives. In this pilot study, we retrospectively reviewed the anesthetic management, reproductive outcome and recovery room experience for all patients having oocyte retrieval during a 2-year interval (n = 95). Fifty-one oocyte retrievals were performed under spinal anesthesia, while 44 patients received solely intravenous sedatives. Both groups had similar reproductive outcomes. The intravenous sedation group required a significantly longer period until recovery room discharge criteria were met (P = 0.03), and were more likely to have postoperative emetic episodes (46% versus 6% in the spinal anesthesia group: P < 0.01). Two unplanned hospital admissions occurred in the intravenous sedation group: both were related to uncontrolled nausea and vomiting. We conclude that spinal anesthesia may have advantages over intravenous sedation for oocyte retrieval.

DOI of Published Version



Int J Obstet Anesth. 1997 Jan;6(1):49-51. DOI 10.1016/S0959-289X(97)80052-0

Journal/Book/Conference Title

International journal of obstetric anesthesia


At the time of publication, Julia Johnson was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID