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It's a painful fact of life that IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) treatment involves giving the woman lots of infertility medications through injection. While most people are naturally needle-phobic, learning how to take these injections yourself can help simplify your life considerably !
If you find the idea of giving yourself a shot more than you can stomach, then you can get your husband to give them to you. Trust me, no one will give them with more love and care ( if he messes up, he will never hear the end of it !) - and this way he can learn a new skill as well.
There are basically 2 types of injections:
Lupron ( Buserelin) is usually given subcutaneously; while Menogon (HMG) is usually given intramuscularly.Please remember that there is very little risk of your harming yourself by giving yourself these injections.
It's a good idea to practise on an orange to increase your confidence levels. You could also request a nurse to supervise you the first time to give yourself a shot, so she can confirm you are doing a good job !
The steps are simple.
Gather your supplies. This includes your medications , syringes, needles for mixing drugs (usually bigger) and needles for injecting the drugs (usually smaller), alcohol swabs and sharps container. If you are injecting more than one drug (for example both Buserelin and Menogon ) you will want to separate the equipment for one drug from the equipment for the other.
This is an injection that you give into a muscle. You first need to load the medication into the syringe. You can use a 1 ml or 2 ml syringe. This is usually a simple matter of dissolving the powder in the supplied solvent .
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If your medication comes in rubber-stoppered ampoules, you first need to draw up the solvent into a syringe. You do this by sucking up the solvent into the syringe by piercing the rubber stopper with a 20 gauge needle. You then need to squirt this solvent into the ampoules which contains the medication ( the active powder) by piercing the rubber stopper with the same 20 gauge needle, and allow it to dissolve completely.
The powder will dissolve instantly and the solution will become clear. Repeat this until you have loaded the required dose into the syringe. Usually, one 1 ml of solvent can dissolve upto 6 vials of the powder. Keeping the solvent volume low will help to reduce the pain of the injection.
If the medication comes in glass vials, you will need to open the vials by breaking off the glass tops of the vials , and following the above procedure. Open all the vials at one time to make it easier for yourself.
Once the medication has been loaded into the syringe, remove the 20 G needle, and replace it with a fine 23 G needle.
A subcutaneous injection is one that is given just under the skin.
You first need to load the medication into the syringe. You usually use a disposable 1 ml insulin syringe. This is usually a simple matter of piercing the rubber cap of the ampoule with a 20 G needle, and sucking the required volume of the medication into the syringe, upto the required mark.
Dispose of the syringe in a biohazard container such as a Sharps container-or in an unbreakable plastic container such as a laundry detergent bottle that you can seal.
You can watch a video of how to take your shots also !