What Are The Injections One Has To Take During The IVF Treatment?
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Dr. Namita Kotia has been practicing infertility treatment at Aastha Fertility Care since 2010, and during this time, she has helped around 2000+ couples become parents through IVF treatment and also other assisted reproductive technology (ART) methods like ICSI, IUI, GIFT, etc. Dr. Namita provides her patients with the best possible care and treatment options.
If you are struggling with fertility issues and need help getting pregnant, multiple treatments will help increase your fertility and the chances of having a baby. The most famous treatment widely known as a form of ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) is IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) or test tube baby.
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Like any other fertility treatment, IVF also involves injections that help with fertilization, implantation, and embryo development. There are two kinds of injections taken by you during your IVF treatment. Firstly, it includes Subcutaneous injections-Lupron, Gonal-F, Follistim, and Menopur. These are given under the skin with a very fine needle.
Secondly, intramuscular self-injection is required for hCG injection, which is done a few days after egg retrieval.
IVF is not as easy as it sounds, as it consists of multiple steps and asks for an extensive procedure, including numerous injections and other medications. These combinations of injections, drugs, and surgical procedures help sperm fertilize an egg that needs to be implanted in the Uterus.
Sharing complete details for all the injections, this blog will take you to the detailed information of what medicines a female needs to take during IVF treatment, revealing all the steps for better clarity.
Why are Medications and Injections Important During IVF Treatment?
You have read that a woman needs to take multiple medications and injections until now. But what is the use and purpose of the same?
During the IVF procedure, a woman needs to be stimulated with injected medicines or fertility shots that will help promote multiple egg developments. Therefore, these injections are given through a tiny needle, like insulin is given to diabetic patients.
Two different types of injectable medicines are given during IVF cycles, one is to stimulate egg development, and the other is to keep the eggs from ovulating prematurely. These medications trigger the release of different hormones that help stimulate egg maturation and production while regulating ovulation. Women are made more fertile with these injections during embryo transfer and retrieval procedures, improving their chances of a successful pregnancy.
What to Expect from The IVF Injections?
The IVF injection is an injectable medicine that promotes ovulation. These drugs enable your doctors to control ovulation from the start of treatment. Throughout ovulation, the doctor will examine the ultrasound and blood tests, focusing on estradiol levels and the development of oocytes. So this will allow the physician to modify the dose as necessary. So when getting IVF injections, a woman may experience:
- Changes in body and greater appetite levels: Hormonal injections may influence weight and basal metabolic rate (BMR). Further, your hunger and satiety may rise, and this might be from treatment-related drugs. Rapid weight gain requires medical attention.
- Mood swings or behavioral changes: Hormonal injections may cause emotional responses and mood swings. Some parents find IVF daunting and may be emotional, sometimes deviating from their regular activities.
- Issues relating to Gastrointestinal: Constipation and diarrhea are common hormone injection adverse effects. So eat a nutritious diet full of fiber and water.
Stress and anxiety: Hormonal injectable and fertility treatments might cause stress and anxiety. Regular doctor visits and stress-relieving exercises like yoga and meditation relieve symptoms.
What Are the Injections One Has to Take During the IVF Treatment?
Before digging into more details for these injections, let’s first clarify that not every woman finds this injected medicine painful. Only for some of them, these are unpleasant, causing discomfort only for a few seconds. There are two different types of injections that you will experience through your IVF procedure-
This shot involves the medications inserted through a small needle under the skin. Gonal-F, Lupron, Menopur, and Follistim have commonly used fertility subcutaneous injections, which cost around 270 per box. These are usually injected on the thigh or the belly, just like the insulin shots given to diabetic patients. These will only give a pinching sensation to the patient, giving a feeling of slight stinging or tingling.
This injection is used to insert the fertility medicine directly into the muscles using a comparatively longer needle. HCG trigger shot or progesterone oil is usually used as an intramuscular injection, given on the top outer quadrant of the buttocks. Some people administer these shots by themselves or with their partner’s help, but it is best to seek a professional’s help for support.
Other than these two injections, ICSI Injection is also a significant part of IVF treatments, primarily used in the severe cases of male factor infertility. Before a man’s sperm is used to fertilize a woman’s egg, the head of the sperm must be attached outside the egg. Once attached, it then pushes the egg’s outer layer called the cytoplasm, where fertilization occurs.
There are cases when the outer layer may become thick, become hard to penetrate, or the sperm may not swim. ICSI Injection helps in these cases, further helping with egg fertilization.
Oligospermia is also one of the male’s infertility issues characterized by lower sperm counts. Ramipril is used to treat Oligospermia, increasing the sperm count and helping maintain an ejection.
Bulky Uterus also demands proper medications during IVF treatment. The Uterus is the main reproductive organ that helps nourish the fetus until birth. A bulky uterus occurs when the uterine walls swell up, increasing its usual size. Medications and injections and a proper diet are suggested to get rid of a Bulky Uterus.
How Many Injections are Used During IVF Treatment?
Medications for IVF treatment are often administered subcutaneously (straight into the fat immediately beneath the skin) or intramuscularly (directly into the muscle). Depending on the individual therapy and cycle, a patient might receive 1–2 injections daily, approximately 90 injections each cycle for 9 to 14 days.
These drugs may include gonadotropins: luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). So these encourage the ovaries to produce healthy follicles and eggs. Typically, an additional hormone, progesterone, is released spontaneously following ovulation. In some individuals undergoing IVF, inadequate progesterone levels are reported; hence, the doctor may prescribe progesterone supplements. The supplementation begins around the egg retrieval time or ovulation and extends until the pregnancy maintains the progesterone levels.
The Process of IVF Treatment
IVF is the most effective form of ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology). Doctors or professionals start IVF procedures with the initial fertility medications a woman needs to take to produce mature eggs ready for fertilization. This process is known as ovulation induction. AMH tests are done to check the egg quality of a female as it helps make the fertilization process effective. If a female has a record of miscarriage and IVF failure, then a hysteroscopy test is also done to know the real cause of pregnancy in the patient.
Once ovaries have developed enough mature eggs, doctors go for egg retrieval conducted through a minor surgical procedure done at the fertility clinic. This procedure demands some medications to help with a relaxed and comfortable mind.
The eggs are then mixed with the sperm cells of your partner or any other donor. This process is called insemination, and after this, sperm and eggs are stored together in a petri dish/container for fertilization and embryo formation. Nearly after 4-5 days of egg retrieval, one or more embryos are inserted in the Uterus, called the embryo transfer. These embryos attach to the uterus lining, leading to pregnancy.
Therefore, the IVF process is not that painful as IVF injections are used as a critical piece. These injections help relieve the pain and stimulate the ovaries to produce mature eggs.
In the majority of circumstances, these injections are not very painful. But, as pain is subjective, it varies from individual to individual. Someone less sensitive might not experience a higher level of discomfort than someone more sensitive.
Along with IVF, IUI procedure is also not a painful method to treat infertility. The doctor recommends IUI, so any female can opt for it without thinking twice about pain. Aastha Fertility Clinic also offers a special Fertility Preservation Option that will help you save your eggs if you plan to conceive again in the future.
The total IVF Costs in Jaipur involve all the fertility drugs and medications used for the egg maturation inside the female’s body. Therefore, the cost is calculated by professional suggested treatment, including the medicines required throughout the process.
How to make taking the IVF Injections Process Easier?
IVF provides several problems, and injections are among them, particularly for women with a lower pain threshold. Several techniques and practices may help alleviate pain and associated discomforts.
- Inform yourself about the procedure of IVF stimulation injections, its associated side effects, and how to treat them symptomatically.
- See an expert specializing in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to combat the fear of needles and injections. Because the treatment involves up to 90 shots, this is the case. Learn the techniques of pinching and tightening the skin to mimic the injecting pinch.
- Utilize an ice pack or heat pack to create a numbing effect on the area. For the subcutaneous injection, 15–30 seconds of chilling is sufficient for numbing the nerves; however, in the case of intramuscular injection, 10–15 minutes of warming will loosen up the muscles and make them more pliable for injection.
Are IVF Injections Painful?
As we have already discussed, injected medicines are an essential part of the IVF process that cannot be ignored. This helps stimulate the ovaries to produce mature eggs harvested with healthy sperms. Pain in these injections is primarily subjective, varying differently for different people. Some sensitive ones might experience more pain and discomfort than the strong ones.
Moreover, these injections only give the skin a slight pinching or stinging-like sensation. Instead, a woman might experience more pain during the IVF process, as needles are not usually comfortable for everyone. Therefore, it is suggested to come with your partner during your injection appointments to support you throughout the process.
Apart from this, another factor that might trouble you is whether these injections have any side effects or not? The doctor will always ask you to inject the medicine intramuscularly or subcutaneously during the IVF procedure. This helps produce the hormones that further act as a messenger within the body.
IVF Injections Schedule
The IVF process demands a list of necessary medications and injections on a precisely timed schedule. Therefore, knowing what you might be prescribed based on the schedule and the potential medication side effects is essential.
- Day 1 to 4
The patient is called on the first day of her menstrual cycle to schedule a Baseline for the 3rd of a day visit, including bloodwork and ultrasound. After their approvals, the patient will be given hormone injections, stimulating egg productions for the production of follicles. Gonal F and Menopur are the medications included in this process.
- Day 5-10
Patients will continue the stims during this period and may prevent premature ovulation, also known as antagonists. Medications given will block the hormones that cause the release of these eggs from the ovaries.
Common medication in this period includes Cetrotide, Ganirelix, and Leuprolide.
- Day 10+
After ten days, patients will have to go for a final ultrasound and bloodwork, which will further confirm whether the follicle pack has matured or not. If yes, a trigger shot is assigned before at least 35-36 hours of retrieval, stimulating ovulation and a final growth spurt.
Trigger Shots support the normal egg development in a woman’s ovary, triggering it to go through a final spurt. This also stimulates egg release during ovulation from the follicles within 36 hours.
Common medication in this period includes Novarel/Pregnyl, Ovidrel, and Leuprolide.
Side Effects of IVF Injections on a Female’s Body
Due to subjective effects, some women might experience common and temporary side effects including-
- Mood Swings
- Hot Flashes
- Reduced or Increased appetite
- Soreness at the injection’s site
- Breast tenderness
- Menstrual spotting or bleeding
- Decreased libido.
It is also unnecessary for everyone to have these side effects, as some women experience none. Also, these are usually temporary and easily manageable. There are only one in a thousand cases when a woman might experience other unexpected reactions from these injections, like OHSS (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome).
This happens when a woman has multiple follicles growing, and the symptoms for the same include nausea, bloating, and weight gain. These symptoms can also be treated through proper hydration and rest at home.
Tips To Reduce IVF Injection Pain And Make Injectable IVF Medication Smooth
Give yourself some time and space to make the injections quick and easy. There are some quick tips that you will find helpful, making the injection process smoother-
- Sit Back and Relax- If you tense your muscles while shooting anticipation, the same will hurt more. Instead, try out deep breathing and relaxing exercises before the injection appointments, depressing the plunger.
- Talk to your Nurse- Have a free and open conversation with your doctor or nurse before the appointments, clarifying all your doubts about giving yourself injections. This will further help you feel more confident.
- Go Numb: Ask your doctor to numb the area with anbesol. This is the over-the-counter gel that will help numb your sore gums. But make sure to wipe the same before you do the injection.
- Try Ice or Consider Heat: Apply a heating pad on the injected area for 1 minute during intramuscular injections, as these will help relax the muscle. Icing the area before injection can also help numb that particular area for a few minutes.
- Try Different Needles: Finger Gauge needles are usually the most comfortable options. Also, you need to know that the higher the number, the smaller the needle, making 25-27 gauge the ideal and usually used needles.
Aastha Fertility for IVF Treatments
Patients need to make particular choices while selecting their doctors for fertility treatments as these have a higher infection risk in regular injections. Aastha Fertility Care has the best-in-class facilities for their patients, providing them with a safe and hygienic environment.
All the professional doctors at Aastha Fertility Care will assist you till the last, helping in case of any minor problems, and are available 24/7 services for their patients.
Book your consultation appointment now to know about the best treatments.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How Many Days Do You Take IVF Injection?
After completing the oral contraceptives course, IVF patients are given infertility injections nearly for 9-11 days. These consist of naturally occurring hormones that further develop and mature the follicles.
- What To Expect From IVF Injections?
Some patients might experience no pain with IVF injections, whereas others might go through a different situation. Patients might also experience some temporary side effects that will last only for a few hours. Other than this, mood swings and a rough emotional journey are possible causes.
- Why does IVF require injections?
You will require to get a series of injections throughout your IVF therapy for the stimulation of follicles in the ovaries into releasing and developing eggs for an egg collection process.
- Where Does IVF injection Inserted into the Thigh or Stomach?
Usually, they are administered towards the front of the thigh or the belly. To avoid skin irritation, avoid administering the injection in the same area more than once.
- What injections do you need before IVF?
The injections doctors prescribe may include gonadotropins like luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in the ovaries to produce mature follicles and, eventually, eggs. In addition, HMG/FSH is often administered to women with severe ovulation issues.