When I heard I was going to have to get shots in my behind, I was a little weary, the thought didn’t sound enjoyable. When I heard the SIZE of the needle, it definitely sent a chill down my spine!! Often times during infertility treatments, especially after the retrieval surgery, you have to do some sort of progesterone supplementation.
Progesterone gives support for the lining of the uterus and is needed to maintain an early pregnancy. There may not be enough progesterone made by the ovary during an IVF cycle, and so more progesterone is routinely given. Some are prescribed intramuscular shots of progesterone in oil, others have progesterone vaginal suppositories, both have their fair share of negatives. The shots given in upper outer quadrant of your butt, alternating sides every night, given between 6-9pm each evening.
My husband and I had a routine every evening:
- prepare the shot: inject the vial with 1cc of air, and pull back 1cc of progesterone, switch needles (so that the one that goes in your skin is as sharp as possible, the needle “dulls” when inserted into the vial)
- test the injection site: press on different spots within the target area to see where felt the best to inject (by the end there weren’t many “good” spots left), wipe the area with an alcohol pad, allow it to dry
- get into position: my technique was to bend over the counter, put all my weight into the side opposite the side where the shot was to go, hold the skin taught, and take a deep breath, exhale… and
- BOOM needle was in (if the person administering the shot can go fast, like shooting a dart, it tends to hurt a little less)
- administering the progesterone: pull back on the syringe to make sure no blood was drawing up (or in other words you hit a vein), and then inject the thick oil as fast as you can into my behind; after the progesterone was fully injected, remove the needle as steady as possible and immediately apply pressure with an alcohol pad (sometimes there would be a small amount of blood and sometimes a tiny portion of the progesterone would leak out)
- the after shot ritual: rear end massages with a warm washcloth (stimulating the muscle can help aid in absorption), also sitting on a warm moist heating pad while watching TV (because the progesterone is in an oil, absorption into the muscle tissue can be slow, heat warms and thins the oil, also helping boost absorption)
Even after all that careful prep, afterwards my hips and butt would still get sore and achy (kinda like how your arm feels after a flu shot), and every now and then I would have sciatic pain down my leg. One time we even had a bleeder, we hit a vein, oy did that hurt, and left a nice little scar on my butt! Thank god I don’t wear thong bathing suits – ha ha! But after all that pain in the ass (literally), knowing that these shots were helping my body prepare to support a pregnancy helped me live through it each night!