Purpose of review
The objective of this review is to analyze and summarize the current anesthetic methods used to alleviate pain and discomfort during transvaginal oocyte retrieval procedures (TORP), to try to reach practical recommendations, based on the evidence, which will translate into daily practice, the knowledge on the anesthetic management of patients scheduled for TORP.
There is no strong evidence to recommend the avoidance of any technique or drug for TORP, including nitrous oxide or halogenated agents. Women should be offered any available technique. The evidence available up to date is not convincing enough to recommend avoiding any anesthetic technique in terms of pregnancy and birth rates.
TORP is painful for women and different techniques may be used for pain relief in day case surgery. The other important outcome to consider is the pregnancy rate, and any anesthetic technique or drug which would improve this pregnancy rate should be recommended. Conscious sedation and general anesthesia proved to be well tolerated for woman and the oocytes, despite the use of propofol, opioids, benzodiacepines, nitrous oxide, or other drugs. Spinal anesthesia and paracervical block are also acceptable options, and can be combined with conscious sedation. Nevertheless, more studies are needed to find out the ideal drug or technique combination for the woman and the oocyte.