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Tips on Giving Yourself a Fertility Drug Injection
You’ve heard the potential downsides of IVF—you can feel bloated, irritable, and headachy, with a heavy dose of mood swings thrown in. But perhaps the scariest—especially for the squeamish—comes in the form of the dreaded shot.
Some fertility drugs, such as Gonal-F, Follistim, Lupron, and Progesterone in Oil are administered by injection. And you, or your partner, are responsible for giving it regularly. So how can you make the most of it? These tips below may take some of the sting out the shot.
Ask for help: At your fertility clinic, don’t be afraid to share your fears with your doctor or nurse. They can walk you through the process, which can make you feel more confident about administering it correctly.
Rotate injection sites: Whether you’re using subcutaneous or intramuscular injections, it’s important to rotate the injection site each day. This keeps skin healthy and helps prevent the scarring of fatty tissue, which could interfere with the medicine’s absorption.
Relax: Your muscles, that is, if you’re administering an intramuscular (IM) injection. If your muscle is taut, it’s likely it will hurt more. Keep your muscles loose and try to give your brain something to focus on.
Rub: After you inject, massage or gently rub the site. This helps loosen the muscle as well as disperse the medication. However, steer clear of this if you’re using Heparin or Lovenox, as that can contribute to bruising.
Prepare for soreness: A lot of patients report feeling pain the following day. You can use a warm pack on the site to boost blood flow to the area and help it heal faster.
Be sure to drop by the Fertile Thoughts Fertility Drugs Forum to see how others in your situation are navigating the injections—you just may find a couple new tips.
Watch as Dr. David Keenan of Atlanta Center for Reproductive Medicine explains how fertility patients can reduce the risk of multiples while using fertility drugs:
Click image to play.