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How to Give a Subcutaneous Injection

If you’re getting ready to undergo an IVF cycle, chances are you’ve already heard about the injections. Giving yourself shots can be nerve-wracking, and it’s common to feel a little squeamish about it. But by understanding more about the process, you can become more comfortable with it.

One of the most common types of injections is called a subcutaneous injection. That means it’s given just under the skin with a very small needle. Common fertility drugs that are injected subcutaneously include Lupron, Gonal-F, and Follistim.

Whether you’re injecting yourself, or if your partner will be in charge, it helps to acclimate yourself with the injection process:

  1. Wash your hands
  2. Use an alcohol swab to clean the area of injection—usually the thigh, stomach, or back of arm. Allow it to dry, and don’t blow on it!
  3. Pinch the skin and hold the syringe at a 90-degree angle to your skin, about an inch away.
  4. If you’re using a syringe, quickly insert the needle and pull back the plunger. You’ll need to do a new injection if you see blood. If not, push down the plunger to completely release all the medication.
  5. Release the skin and apply slight pressure for several seconds with a gauze pad.
  6. Using an appropriate disposal container, get rid of all your materials—needle, syringe, pen, etc.

Looking to share some info on your experiences injecting, or want to see what others are talking about? Join the discussion at!

Watch as Dr. Sonya Kashyap at Genesis Fertility Center explains the factors that affect IVF success:

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Comments (2)

Hi Susan,

It doesn't hurt to take folic acid supplements even when you're not trying to conceive. You should begin taking the supplements about 3 to 6 months before trying to conceive. Ask your doctor for specific dosing information.


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