Now that you think you are officially on your road to pregnancy, your mouth drops as you hear the nurse explain how to inject yourself with IVF medications. Your eyes widen and you unconsciously blurt out, “You want me to stick that where?” You are initially shocked at the idea of giving yourself an injection, but quickly realize the impending results will rapidly extinguish your anxiety and fear.
After you and your fertility specialist have decided that IVF is indeed in your future, you will typically meet with a nurse to go over your personal medication protocol. During this meeting it will be wise to bring your spouse or partner for additional “eyes and ears”. This visit can be quite overwhelming, so just realize that your nerves are completely normal. The nurse is likely to give you paperwork or a calendar with your specific IVF medications and dates. She will also show you the various types of injections and the easiest ways to administer them. It’s typical for you to wonder to yourself, “How am I going to remember all of this?” Don’t worry, you will!!! (You’ve got paperwork to confirm times and dates.) During your meeting, don’t hesitate to ask questions and make sure you feel comfortable before you leave.
It’s not uncommon to feel fearful the first time you have to inject yourself during your IVF cycle. For many women, this is the first time they have had to stick themselves with a needle. Part of the apprehension is the fear of hurting yourself, but is also the amount of emotions that you are facing because of the fact you are simply battling infertility. You may be hesitant about puncturing your skin with a needle or even worried that you will mess it up. Most IVF stimulation drugs will be injected into the abdomen or thigh. Some progesterone support medications will be done on the buttocks and hip area. For most women, the anxiety is quickly defeated with the realization that it really wasn’t that bad. The IVF injections typically will be painless and will rapidly become part of your normal day-to-day routine.
Here are some helpful hints to get you through your IVF injections:
Have a spouse or friend help – If you find that you simply can’t do the injection yourself, ask your spouse or a friend. This is a good way to let your husband feel helpful and a part of the process. Depending on the location of your injection, a spouse or friend may be necessary as you may not be able to reach the injection site yourself.
Make sure to eat beforehand – Many women get faint at the thought or site of needles. Be sure to have some food in your stomach so you aren’t prone to fainting.
Relax in chair or on the couch – Be sure that you are comfortable and relaxed.
Complete injections around the same time each day – When you first decide on a time to take your injections, make sure it works with your work and personal schedule. Many couples find that evening (around dinner time) works best, as they know they will be home.
Just keep in mind that the thought of injection IVF medications is much worse than the actual injection. Don’t think too much about it. It will become a part of your everyday routine and you will think nothing of it.