**Please keep in mind I am not a medical professional and am not dispensing medical advice. I’m just sharing what worked for me during my IVF journey. If I can rock these progesterone shots, so can you!**
One of the scariest things for me (and, I’m sure MANY other women) was the idea of the progesterone shots. Not even the actual shots themselves…the mere idea. I had somehow managed to psych myself up into a state of fear…And I’m not even afraid of needles! I’ve donated blood countless times. I actually like to watch the phlebotomist draw my blood. But…have you SEEN the size of this needle?! And it’s supposed to go WHERE?!
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I remember leaving the doctor’s office and being told to go home and watch the video. Hubs and I watched the 2 minute video. That’s it???? Just like that, we are given free reign to just stick a huge needle in me???
We are fortunate enough to have a dear friend and neighbor who also happens to be a nurse. I asked her to come over and do the honorary first shot and to assuage any of Hub’s fears (as well as mine). After the first shot, I thought to myself, “Ok. I can do this. It’s not as bad as I thought.”
The following are tips and tricks that worked for me to not only get through…but ROCK the progesterone shots:
Numb the area first with ice.
This was a great hack shared with me by one of my friends. Why had the doctor’s office not mentioned this??? Or why had I not thought of it?? Numbing the area makes the shot seem less painful. Though trust me, you’re still going to feel it…but the pain was definitely dulled. I liked to put an ice pack on my bum for at least 20 minutes. (The nice thing about the ice pack below is it comes with an elastic band!)
Tell yourself you can do this.
You’ve got this, Mama! You are stronger than you think. The pain is temporary. You are a warrior!
Tell yourself this is for the safety and well-being of your baby.
My doctor explained that since my body did not get pregnant on its own, the body doesn’t actually realize it’s pregnant yet…thus the need for the progesterone shots. My body isn’t producing progesterone on its own yet…so I need to put it in there so the body doesn’t reject the pregnancy. It did provide me a small measure of comfort knowing that the pain was for a greater purpose.
Find a position that is most comfortable for you.
For me, it was lying on my side, on the couch. For one friend, it was standing up, holding on to something. For another friend, it was laying on her belly. You may have to experiment for a few days with different positions until you find one that works for you.
Make sure someone flattens the surface area with their fingers beforehand and administers the shot swiftly, at a 90 degree angle.
I’m sure you will also view a training video that covers this…but I remember the 90 degree angle part being very important. I was unable to do it at a 90 degree angle when I had to self administer…ouch.
Heat the area immediately afterwards.
Heat pad or microwavable rice pack or hot compress…heat the area! I liked to heat it for at least 15 minutes.
I didn’t always do this one but one of my friends swore by it. Have the person who is administering the shot rub his/her palm in circles over the injection site to help move the oil along.
Reward yourself with something small for your bravery today!
Have a visual timeline.
Do you feel a sense of satisfaction to cross things off a list? If so, start x-ing out those days on the calendar or do a countdown until your last shot! It helps the time go by!
Make sure to alternate sides and spots.
Don’t get the shot on the same side two days in a row. Ouch! Also, try to find a different spot every time. Some women bruise from the shots…if you are one of those women, you will soon see where not to go.
Do something special to celebrate your last progesterone shot.
Go out to dinner or have a special treat. You did it!
I was fortunate enough to only have to self administer the shot three times. There are two options for injection site: butt cheek or inner thigh. I have heard from others that the inner thigh shot is incredibly painful…so I chickened out and decided to opt for door #1. Two out of the three times, I gave myself the shot with no problems (although I found that I was not as limber on one side and could not reach that butt cheek, LOL). One of the times, I was in excruciating pain for about two hours afterwards. The nurse at the doctor’s office guessed that I had hit a nerve. She said the odds of that are pretty low but of course…I found it!
Hopefully, this time will go by quickly for you and in the end, you’ll have a beautiful bundle of joy to celebrate with. Wishing you lots of sticky baby dust!