With IVF, the woman is stimulated with subcutaneously injected medications to develop multiple egg development. Subcutaneous injections are given with a very small needle, just under the skin. This is the same way that diabetics give themselves insulin shots.
Two different injectable medications are used together in IVF cycles. One of these is to keep the eggs from ovulating prematurely and the other medication is to stimulate development of several eggs.
- Overview about ovarian stimulation for IVF
- Details about the luteal Lupron stimulation protocol for IVF
- Details about antagonist stimulation protocols for IVF
- Details about the microdose flare stimulation protocol for IVF
- Details about mixing and preparing fertility medications
One IVF stimulation protocol is called “luteal Lupron”. Lupron is the first medication which starts on about day 21 of the woman’s cycle. This is a subcutaneous injection with a small needle and is given into her thigh or abdomen area. She will usually take this once a day for about 21 days.
The next medication is injectable FSH and is usually taken for about 9 days. This medication stimulates multiple eggs to develop. There are various FSH products that can be given either subcutaneous or intramuscular. In the US these drugs include Follistim, Gonal-F, Menopur and Bravelle.
Details on giving subcutaneous fertility shots:
Subcutaneous administration of Lupron, Gonal-F, Follistim, Bravelle, Menopur, etc.
- Choose your injection site (abdomen, thigh, or back of upper arm)
- Cleanse the site with alcohol, beginning at the center of the site and moving outward in a circular motion. Allow the skin to dry before injection to avoid a stinging sensation.
- Remove needle cover being careful not to loosen the needle from the syringe.
- Grasp the syringe like a pencil. Squeeze the skin and position the needle at a 90 degree angle to the skin surface.
- Insert the needle quickly with a dart-like motion.
- Pull back slightly on the plunger to check for blood. If none, inject the drug by pushing on the plunger. If blood appears, withdraw the needle entirely. Change the needle, prepare a new site and inject again.
- After injecting the medication, let go of the pinched skin and remove the needle gently but quickly. If any bleeding occurs from the site, apply gentle pressure for 10 to 15 seconds.
- Alternate injection sites (use a different spot for the next shot).
- Dispose of syringe in a glass jar or other appropriate container. You can return your used needles to the office at the end of your cycle for us to dispose of.