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Why Does Some Medicine Leak Out when I Do Fertility Drug Injections?

Fertility Drug Injections

by Gina Paoletti-Falcone, RN, BSN, Freedom Fertility Pharmacy, December 29, 2010


The last couple of nights when I give myself the lupron shots, it looks like some of the medicine leaks out when I pull the needle out. What am I doing wrong with my fertility drug injection?

Nurse Gina Says:

Believe it or not, it’s unlikely that you are doing anything wrong. When removing the needle from your abdomen or thigh, the most common subcutaneous injection sites, you may expect one of three things:

  • Nothing comes from the injection site.
  • A small drop of medication comes from the injection site.
  • A small drop of blood comes from the injection site.

Over the course of doing daily injections you may experience all of these scenarios. None of them are a cause for concern or a reflection on your injection technique. I have had each of these happen to me during my nursing career.

When you see blood at the injection site after the needle is removed, it may just be that you have nicked a little blood vessel just at or below the skin surface, and blood is following the needle track out to the surface. If you see a drop of medication at the injection site after withdrawing the needle, it is simply the medication following the needle track out to the surface. Again, neither is cause for alarm or should make you doubt your ability to do your injection.

There are a few tips that may decrease the likelihood that you will see blood or medication.

  • First, most especially with the pen devices, count to five once you have injected the medication before removing the needle, and maintain pressure on the plunger as you withdraw the needle from your skin.
  • Second, apply gentle pressure with a gauze pad over the injection site as you remove the needle from your skin and hold it for about 10 seconds. Pressure over the injection site prevents the skin from pulling back as you withdraw the needle. The gauze also helps seal the punctured tissue and prevents leakage.
  • Remember to rotate injections sites from day to day to keep the skin healthy and prevent scarring or hardening of fatty tissue that may decrease absorption of medication.
  • Remember to release the pinch once you have the needle in your skin before you inject.
  • And finally take a nice breath in and breathe out as you inject to relax.

If you would like to watch a video of a subcutaneous injection, follow this link. Then under Freedom MEDTEACH on the right side of the homepage click on “View videos now." This will allow you to choose any of the fertility medications that you may need to inject subcutaneously.


Do you have a question for me? Ask it here! Perhaps I'll answer it in an upcoming "Ask a Fertility Nurse" column!


Gina Paoletti-Falcone, RN, BSN is a graduate of Northeastern University and has worked in Women’s Health since 1978. In 2004, Gina joined Freedom Fertility Pharmacy as the Clinical Educator responsible for developing infertility educational content for employees, patients, nurse, and managed care plans in print and online. Gina writes a fertility blog on the Freedom Fertility Pharmacy website and enjoys educating and empowering patients to take an active role in their fertility treatment.

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