Injections are a fact of life when it comes to IVF, but it should not be a traumatic part of your IVF experience.
First of all, keep in mind not every woman finds the shots painful. The injections aren’t pleasant, but they are quick and most discomfort is over in a few seconds.
Whether you have some trepidation, or you’re not at all worried about the injections, daily shots can make anyone feel like a pin cushion. Knowing how to make the whole experience a little easier can help you feel less daunted by the prospect.
Subcutaneous (subQ) Injection Steps
Before starting, watch appropriate medication preparation and injection videos from your pharmacy or clinic. Don’t be afraid to ask your IVF team for in-person training to help you feel more comfortable.
Choose a clean and sanitized space to prepare and administer your injections. Thoroughly wash your hands before starting.
Follow your fertility clinic’s instructions for mixing and drawing up your dose of medication.
Remove any air from the syringe, by facing the needle upwards, tapping the side of the syringe, and slowly pushing in the plunger until the air is removed.
Select your injection site - stomach, upper thigh, or back of the arm - and clean with an alcohol swab. Allow time for the area to dry, it can cause brief, minor irritation at the site if alcohol gets under the skin.
Pinch the skin surrounding the injection site with your non-dominant hand. If you’re worried about the needle hurting, pinch extra hard or dig your nails in to help distract you.
Hold the syringe like a dart with your dominant hand, and insert the needle into the skin. The entire needle should go in at a 90 degree angle. One direct motion for an injection is more comfortable than slow or jagged motions.
Inject the medication slowly then wait a few seconds and remove the needle.
Apply gauze onto the injection site with a small amount of pressure for about 30 seconds to stop any bleeding that may occur.
Store all medication as directed and be sure to properly dispose of needles.
When it’s all done, give yourself a reward! Having something to look forward to after the injection helps face them with less dread.
Helpful Injection Tips:
Talk to your fertility team to ask questions and make sure that you feel confident before you begin. They should review everything you need to know on why you’re using which medications and how to give yourself an injection.
It is ALWAYS easier after the first injection is done. The first may be the toughest, but most find it is easier each subsequent time.
The most important thing you can do to make your injections quick and easy is to give yourself time and space to get it right.
Deep breathing and relaxation exercises right before your shot can be helpful. When your body is tense, the shot may be more painful. Take a deep breath before the injection and breathe out slowly as you push the plunger.
Don’t psych yourself out by getting ready to do the injection and stopping repeatedly - say 1, 2, 3 and just do it!
Set reminders or alarms to keep your timing on track and avoid unnecessary stress.
It is crucial to keep an eye on your medication supply and stay in touch with your team so you don’t run out of something that will impact your cycle.
I would worry if anyone said they were excited for this part of IVF. No one enjoys the injections, but you will be amazed at what you’re capable of handling to reach your reproductive dreams. You’ve got this! 🌟