Fertility injections can create a lot of anxiety for patients
Let’s face it. Going through fertility treatments and IVF is hard no matter which way you look at it. Your emotions are all over the place, you have to carefully follow an exact schedule of medications and procedures, and there is so much new information to understand. But giving yourself fertility injections is probably the most stressful and terrifying part of the infertility journey, especially if you have a fear of needles.
Unfortunately for many who have needle-phobia, self-administered fertility injections are often necessary to grow your family. But before you call the whole thing off in order to avoid being in these uncomfortable situations, let us reassure you that you are braver than you think. And the stronger tug of wanting to be a mama may help you overcome your fear to make it happen.
Learn to give yourself fertility medications like a pro
Your Fertility Answers team understands how overwhelming mixing and administering your fertility medications can be. Rest assured that we will provide you with plenty of in-office training on how to self-administer your fertility medications before you have to do it yourself. We have specialized training kits for each injectable medication you may be prescribed and will thoroughly train you to do it correctly. This is essential to make sure you learn the right way to mix your medicines, if necessary, and how to safely give yourself injections. We also have fertility injections videos on our website for you to easily reference at home.
However, if you are still feeling anxious about self-administering your fertility injections, we’ve compiled a list of ways to help you overcome your anxiety and limit your discomfort:
- Consider recruiting your partner or a friend to do the deed – Sometimes it’s best to just delegate the part of the process that is creating so much anxiety. You can do the mixing and measuring to make sure the dose is accurate and then hand it off. Some cities have concierge nursing services that for a fee will come to your home to administer your injections. Ask your IVF nurse if there is one available.
- Create the right environment – Being in a familiar and organized place can help reduce anxiety. Designate a “safe place” to be your injection area where you keep your medicines and instructions organized. This area should have a mirror if you need to inject in your gluteal muscle so that you can see it to ensure proper placement. Also, if breathing exercises or soothing music helps, make this part of the process every time.
- Rotate injection sites – Alternating the area that receives the injection will help reduce injection site pain.
- Numbing works – Use an ice pack for a few minutes to numb the area before the injection. You can also use a topical numbing cream, but just remember that these take 30-45 minutes to work.
- Ensure the alcohol dries first – This will help reduce any stinging before and after the injection.
- Give yourself a pat on the back – You did it! Was it as bad as you thought it would be? Permit yourself afterwards to admit that it really was no big deal and it wasn’t the end of the world. And remind yourself that the ultimate goal is to be a mother. By visualizing what the end result could be in nine months from the injection you are giving yourself today, your courage will exponentially increase.
Helping you find support along the way
We know this journey will have many ups and downs and we have resources available for you. Be sure to contact your Fertility Answers nurse through our eIVF Patient Portal if you have any questions about mixing and administering your fertility injections. Also, visit our Support During Your Journey page if you are looking for a support group in your area. These are great safe spaces for patients undergoing fertility treatments. Connecting with others who have similar experiences can help give you the comradery you need to overcome your anxiety. And if you are looking for one-on-one support, we have a great list of licensed therapists as well.