The Fertility Mentor
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|Posted on October 31, 2011 at 2:33 PM||comments (66)|
Here is an instructional video clip I found, which illustrates the correct way to administer Follistim AQ; a subcutaneous injection (under the skin).
A few comments of my own:
1) The areas of the body they show for the injection site are the upper/outer thigh area, the abdomen (always stay 2" outside the belly button area), or the back of the upper arms. I recommend only using the abdomen area, as you want the medication to stay as close, and concentrated, to the reproductive area as possible. If using the upper arms, for example, the medication has a long way to travel to get to the ovaries. By the time it reaches where it has to go, it might not be as strong. Just make sure to rotate the injection site within the abdomen, as the area will likely bruise, become irritated, itch, burn, etc. Perhaps your protocol also requires patches, so I would save the thigh or arm areas for those. As always, double check with your IVF nurse first.
2) I highly recommend using an ice pack with Follistim injections, depending on your pain tolerance. You may have a high tolerance for pain and not need it at all. I had zero tolerance for pain, so the ice pack completely numbed the area and I didn't feel these shots at all. Keep in mind that this is 1 of a few shots you will likely need to take subcutaneously in this area (perhaps you're also on Lupron, Menopur, Repronex, Ganarelix, or others), so plan accordingly with ice packs and rotating your injection sites.
3) As compared to Progesterone in oil shots, where the medication is thick and can congeal with ice, Follistim is much thinner and can disperse much easier/quicker. Also, the needle on the Follistim pen is much smaller/thinner and doesn't go in nearly as far. These shots should be a piece of cake, relatively speaking, of course. Even with the fine needles on the Follistim pens, and the other subcutaneous medications for that matter, the discomfort lies mostly AFTER the injections are given. There's physical discomfort (irritation, bumps, bruising, pain, itching, burning, swelling, bloating) and also the emotional discomfort (moodiness, crankiness, irritability, feeling "blue," having an overall short fuse, etc.)
There's no way around it. Going through IVF will no doubt turn you into a human pin cushion. Utilizing ice packs as part of your routine (except for Progesterone in oil shots, where a heating pad is key!), will make this part of the process go a lot smoother.