Fertility patients frequently need to receive medications via injection, which are most often done in their home, not in the doctor’s office. Such treatments in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), ovulation induction and superovulation require injections.
Your Advanced Reproductive Medicine physician will go over everything you need to know about the medications and procedures for injecting them. Injections can be subcutaneous (into the fat under the skin) or intramuscular (into the muscle). You can give them to yourself or have your partner, a family member or a friend do it.
Some people find this to be a difficult part of their treatment. Considering that a woman may need up to 90 injections per IVF cycle, it’s not unusual for injections to cause a sense of dread for some people.
If injections are a part of your treatment plan, you and your partner should talk this over with your physician, who can give you excellent advice on not just the physical aspects of this regimen but also the emotional aspects.
Here are some key points to consider:
To self-inject or get help. Many women find that self-injecting gives them a sense of control over the process and doesn’t involve working around someone else’s schedule. Others want help, both with the task and just having someone there for support.
Couples may find that they want this to be another shared experience in the process, or they may find that injections are not something they want to share. The key is to honestly talk about it. You’ll find out what works best for you—maybe both approaches.
Follow the instructions. Your doctor will give you instructions and others will come with the medication and injection supplies. Follow them carefully to receive the full benefit of the medication.
Make it safe. Anyone involved should wash his or her hands before and after. Select a clean, sanitized place to administer the injections. Properly dispose of needles and store medications as directed.
Make it part of your lifestyle. Try to work the injections into your life as normal routine. Some people find that it helps to make the injections around the time of something enjoyable, such as cooking dinner or relaxing when you first get home from work. Or you can reward yourself by planning to do something you enjoy after the injection.
Familiarize yourself with the procedure. The more familiar you are with the injections, the less anxiety you’ll likely experience. Your physician can recommend online resources that detail what to expect, what to do and how to do it. Pamphlets such as this one on subcutaneous injections [add link after uploading pdf] from the National Institutes of Health are useful. Here’s a link to About.com on self-injections, and here’s a video from the American Fertility Association.
Injection Training Videos
University of Colorado Advanced Reproductive Medicine offers information on injection training, preparation and administration videos for commonly used medications during fertility treatment in English and Español.
Universidad de Colorado Advanced Reproductive Medicine ofrece información sobre los vídeos de formación de inyección, preparación y administración de medicamentos de uso común durante el tratamiento de fertilidad.