If you’re starting your IVF journey, you might be a bit worried about the shots for IVF. There are several hormone shots you will probably have to do during the stimulation phase.
These shots can definitely be intimidating, especially if you hate shots.
Thankfully, there are several strategies that can help make these shots easier for you.
I was so nervous about the daily shots- terrified, really. My husband administered most of them, but I did end up having to do a couple shots myself.
Getting Your Shots for IVF
Your fertility doctor will give you a plan of which medications you will need in advance so that you can order the medication and have it delivered in time for your cycle.
During our IUI cycles our insurance covered medication from certain specialty pharmacies only. I ended up using Fairview Specialty Pharmacy for those Ovidrel shots.
We did not have coverage for the IVF cycles, but our clinic recommended SMP Fertility Pharmacy.
Both of these pharmacies were easy to work with and shipped the medication right to my door.
There was one incident where my Lupron shot was requested through my regular pharmacy. It got tied up in approval limbo and took two months to straighten out. I ended up getting that one through SMP- I don’t recommend a regular pharmacy as they don’t seem to understand the time sensitivity of fertility medications.
Please note: I am not a medical professional. This content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to treat or diagnose any conditions. Always consult your doctor or medical professionals. Full disclaimer available here.
Shots for IVF Tips:
1. Set an alarm so you don’t miss your shot time.
Your clinic will tell you what time of day to do the shots. While they might give you a range (like 6-9pm), you’ll want to do them close to the same time every day.
We did them at 7pm, but I know some people have to do them in the morning. Regardless of the time, set a special alarm.
Even if you’re certain you’ll remember sometimes you can get sidetracked and it’s much better to be safe than sorry.
2. Review the directions.
The first few times especially we watched the instructions several times. We didn’t want to mess anything up, so reviewing the directions helped and we even went through step by step with the videos.
The instruction videos we used can be found here.
3. Ice the shot location.
The idea here is to numb the location where the shot will be. I just used ice, but I know some women have used those numbing patches. You can ask your doctor if those would be safe for you to use.
4. Set your intention/ Say a prayer of thanks
It’s natural to think of the big needles and get scared, but I found it helpful to focus on how the medicine is going to help bring my baby to me.
Each night I would set the intention for my body to accept and use the medicine to create big healthy eggs. Then we would say a little prayer together. Just a brief statement thanking God for these perfect, strong, healthy eggs.
5. Listen to music.
Look for a song that makes you think of your baby or that you just really enjoy and have some great memories connected to.
You can sing along, but save dancing for afterward. Because, you know- needles.
Talk to your partner about something completely different to distract you. Maybe a favorite childhood memory or about where you want to go on vacation.
I’ve rambled on about random things with lots of lab people while they’ve drawn blood and found it to be really helpful for keeping my brain occupied.
7. Play a game.
You likely have a game on your phone that you can play for a few minutes to keep you occupied.
I usually doubled up on listening to music and playing a game. I played Toon Blast the most. I like that you have limited lives since it prevents me from playing all day.
Candy Crush would also be a good one. Any game that you enjoy will work to keep you distracted from your shots for IVF.
8. Watch a TV show.
This one is also in line with keeping yourself distracted.
I didn’t do this as much with the stim shots because they really didn’t take very long. I turned on shows more during the progesterone in oil shots because they take longer.
The oil is thick so pushing it through a small needle takes some time and afterward you have to rub the area to disperse the oil some. I have a whole post on PIO shot tips available here.
9. Have a reward ready.
I found having a little treat to look forward to was helpful. It could be a piece of chocolate, some ice cream or spending a little time playing a game or watching a favorite show.
Something that you will enjoy as a reward for completing the shots can help you to not hesitate or delay in the shots.
Of course your baby is the main reward, but a little sweet treat to enjoy immediately can help.
10. Have a dedicated pouch for on the go shots.
There were a few times where we weren’t home for my shots. In those instances I had a cute pouch for the medicine, syringes, needles, and alcohol swabs.
When I got home I would put the used needle into the disposal container.
11. Alternate fertility shot locations.
You will likely be doing the stimulation shots every night for 8-12 days (more if you downregulate with daily lupron injections the month before stims).
Because of this you’ll want to keep track of which side you’re doing the injections on each night.
We did all of the shots on one side of my abdomen, then switched the next night. So I would keep track on a piece of paper each night if the shots were on my left or right side.
I would use an alcohol swab to disinfect a large area so that the needles could go in at slightly different spots, but on the same side.
There were some medications that if they went in right on top of each other I felt some stinging. This didn’t happen very often and it didn’t last long.
Extra Shots for IVF Tips
During the stimulation phase you’ll be going in for ultrasounds and bloodwork every few days. Possibly every couple of days if you have a lot of egg follicles.
You might experience cramping, bloating and discomfort. Check with your clinic to see when you are allowed to use a heating pad and if you’re allowed to take Tylenol.
Hydrate as much as you can with water and electrolytes. I liked drinking Body Armour Lyte for extra hydration.
Move as much as you can. Walks and yoga are great to do during IVF, especially during stims. You’ll need to avoid high impact exercise as your ovaries get large and could twist.
Be gentle with yourself and give yourself some grace as you go through this process. It can be challenging physically but you are up to the challenge.
Have faith and trust that your baby is on the way. You are putting yourself in a position for your baby to come.
Sending you loads of baby dust!
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Hi, my name is Katy. I started this blog to help you infuse life with ease and joy by sharing recipes and tips for your fertility and lifestyle.
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