Preparing Subcutaneous Needles for Infertility Treatments
If you and your partner are struggling with infertility, you may be considering trying out some fertility treatments in order to increase your chances of conception. There are a number of highly successful fertility treatments including IUI and IVF. However, if you choose to undergo fertility treatments it may also be necessary to take a number of different medications to help prepare yourself for a possible pregnancy. Some of these medications require the use of subcutaneous injections.
What are Subcutaneous Injections?
Subcutaneous injections are injections of medication given underneath your skin. They are given using a very small needle that is pierced through the skin at different points in the body.
What are Subcutaneous Injections Used For?
Subcutaneous injections are used in fertility treatments to help prepare your body for ovulation, conception, and pregnancy. In particular, subcutaneous injections are often used to help with ovulation induction. They are also frequently given during IVF cycles.
Subcutaneous Injections and IVF
Subcutaneous injections are used most often during IVF treatment cycles. Typically, two types of subcutaneous injections are given during IVF: Lupron and FSH. Lupron is typcially started on Day 21 of your menstrual cycle. Taken daily for 21 days, Lupron is injected in to the thigh.
FSH injections are typically given for about nine days of your menstrual cycle. FSH injections help to trigger the development of follicles within your ovaries, helping to induce ovulation. There are many different types of subcutaneous FSH injections, including:
Preparing Subcutaneous Injections
During fertility treatments, you may be required to prepare and administer your own subcutaneous injections. Here are some important steps to follow to ensure that you are preparing your injections accurately and safely.
- First, remove both the syringe and needle from the plastic wrapper. Be sure to check that the needle is set securely in the syringe.
- Remove all caps from your medication vials and sterilize the bottles with alcohol.
- Take the plastic cap off of your needle and draw 1 cc of air into the syringe. Inject this air into each powdered and diluent vial.
- Insert the needle into the vial with the diluent. Draw enough fluid out until it reaches the 1 cc mark on the syringe. Inject this fluid into the powdered vial.
- Do not shake the powdered vial.
- Once the powder has dissolved, draw the solution into your syringe.
- Place the plastic cap back on the needle.
- Tap on the syringe. This will encourage air bubbles to rise to the top of the syringe. Then, press slowly on the plunger to force these air bubbles out.
Gonal-F and Fertinex Injections
- Remove your syringe from its package. Be sure that the needle is secure.
- Open all of the required ampules of sodium chloride by snapping the caps off between your thumb and index finger.
- Remove the cover from your needle and withdraw 1 cc of the sodium chloride solution.
- Inject this slowly into the open ampule of medication. Try not to do this too quickly, as it will cause bubbles to form.
- Place the cap back on top of the needle.
- Tap out any air bubbles inside of the syringe.
Giving Subcutaneous Injections
Administering injections may seem scary, but they will be much less painful and worrisome if you know what you are doing. After a few practice rounds, you will find it simple and easy to give yourself these injections.
- Choose a place on your body to adminster the injection. Typically, injections are given in the upper arm, thigh, or abdomen.
- Using alcohol, clean the area well. Start in the center of the injection site and move outwards.
- Allow your skin to dry.
- Remove the needle cover and make sure the needle has not become loose.
- Hold the needle like a pencil and at a 90 degree angle.
- Insert the needle quickly.
- Gently pull back on the syringe plunger, to check for blood. If there isn't any, inject all of the medication. If you do see blood, replace the needle and prepare a new injection site.
- Gently apply pressure to the inection site.
Dipose of all of your used syringes in a sturdy container, out of the reach of others. Take this container to your local pharmacy or physician when you have completed your cycle. Be sure to change injection sites frequently, to avoid bruising and discoloration.