Progesterone in Oil shot tips

Roxy • 29, married since 8/2014. TTC #1 since 2/2017. After 5 IUIs, 1 fresh transfer, 3 FETs and a chemical pregnancy... my 🌈 babies (!!) due 1/2019 😍

Hello! I know I’m not the only person (by farrrr) going through progesterone in oil shots and other uncomfortable medications, but I recently explained some of my personal tips to a friend and thought I might share them on here as well! Bear with me, this will be a little long.

This is for anyone who is going to start these shots for the first time or wants some suggestions on how to make them less horrible! Here are some things that made the shots more tolerable for me, a pain pansy needle-shy gal beyond ready to be a mom:

1. First of all, my wife has been enormously helpful with all of the shots I’ve done, both subcutaneous and intramuscular. I started doing my own SQ shots but ended up having to stop because I was mentally psyching myself out too much. Specifically for intramuscular injections, having someone to help makes it so much easier to get done smoothly and quickly.

2. Originally our clinic told us to do the PIO shots in the AM but that was just because the first one needed to be in the morning to time it out correctly with the specific transfer. I was doing them before work (at 6:30am) and it was stressful and painful on my butt muscle. After the first one, they told me the rest could be done in the evening so I switched. Doing them in the evening was way easier because I didn’t feel pressured by time and wasn’t immediately walking to work and being active all day after the shot.

3. I use a numbing patch before doing the shot. The brand is Synera, I order them with my meds each time. They’re super helpful! The patch numbs the spot where you do the shot - you stick it on your skin for 20-30 minutes, peel it off and then wait 10 more for medicine to set in. The spot is numb for 2+ hours and I find them really effective. The key for me was that I leave enough time between taking off the patch and doing the shot to let the numbing kick in. I still feel a little pinch of the shot but the whole thing is so much less painful than with nothing.

4. My clinic told me that since it’s oil, it’s faster and easier to inject when it’s warm. To raise the temperature, load the syringe and then keep the it pressed against your body somewhere (in all disclosure, under the boob is a great spot!) for about 10 minutes before injection. It makes the oil thinner and faster to inject.

5. I had to make sure the placement was correct. My first cycle with the shots, they were all super painful. Ultimately, we found out we were actually injecting it in the wrong spot. Finding the right place (I had a nurse draw an X on each cheek with sharpie at the clinic!) was way better for the shot itself as well as soreness the next day.

6. Using a heat pad afterwards also really helps soreness! I use the kind you microwave and I sit on it for a while after the shot. I press gauze on the site immediately after the shot and massage with my thumb in a circular motion while the heat pad is microwaved. Then I sit on the heat pad for at least 15-20 minutes.

7. Needle gauge made a big difference for me. The filling syringe comes with a giant needle on it which you would not want to use for the injection. It’s an 18g, I think, which is huge. I’ve tried a few other sizes and have like 22g the best. I tried 25g, which is smaller and theoretically might hurt less, but it made the injection take much longer because it was going through a really thin needle and I found that made me more sore the next day. Ultimately the 22g felt best for me in terms of pain and resulting muscle soreness. I use the giant needle to fill the syringe and then switch the needle tip to the smaller one before the injection.

That is all I can think of as of now! If anyone has specific questions, feel free to ask and I’m sure others will have tips to add here as well! I just hope this can help at least one person get through these shots and end up with bundle of joy to make it all worth it :)