The most painless way to inject PIO

The truly most painless way, of course, is to use progesterone suppositories.  But that is a matter for another post.

The first time you get your supplies for the PIO injections and you see that giant needle… well, it is a chilling moment in the life of an infertile gal, as well as that of whatever individual will be in charge of doing the injections.  When you actually get your first injection though, chances are, you’ll say to yourself, “gee, that really wasn’t so bad.”  You’ll say that for 2 or 3 days, then your tune will change.  You will develop big, painful lumps in your rear where the oil has collected.  You will develop scar tissue and when your DH or otherwise designated injector hits the same site again it  will yield a tiny but forceful mushroom cloud of pain.  You will be tempted to smack them but will only be held back by the knowledge that, for god’s sake, they are holding onto a 1 1/2 inch long needle which is currently embedded in your butt.

Sadly I cannot offer suggestions that will turn this into a painless affair but I can suggest a few small tips that help a bit.

1. Use the thinnest needle possible.  This may seem pretty obvious but REs are not always so clueful about how small a size will work.   The smallest possible size that can work depends on the kind of oil the PIO is injected.  There’s also a trade-off between thinness of needle and how long and hard you have to push on the needle to get the progesterone in.  To me it seems obvious that that trade-off should be made to benefit the thinness, and let the injector sweat it out a bit, but REs don’t always feel the same way.  Ask Dr. Google about how small you can go with the kind of PIO you are using, and ask your RE for that needle size.  Note that when the needle gets small you can make it easier to inject the PIO by warming it to body temperature before the injection – that makes the oil more fluid.

2. Do not ice beforehand.  This seems like a good idea – after all, it numbs the skin – but it has a very unpleasant side effect: it causes the oil to congeal in the spots where it has been injected and create painful lumps which your injector will have to avoid in the future in an attempt to dodge those smack hand-outs we discussed previously.  In short, a little less pain today leads to a lot more pain tomorrow.  Once I figured this out and realized we were going to have to go iceless, I was very afraid of how much the shot would hurt without the ice.  And you know what?  It hurt about the same.  It really doesn’t make much of a difference.

3. Have your sweetie massage the injection site for 5 minutes after injection.   This helps to get the oil spread out and absorbed better, so that the painful lumps take longer to form.

4. Apply a heating pad after the injection.  This again helps against the formation of lumps.

5. Distract yourself.  You remember that video you got with your PIO medication?  The one where the wife leans over the dresser, and looks up lovingly at her husband while he jams a giant needle into her rear?  I don’t think you need me to tell you this is not a realistic scenario.  I appreciated that Mr. Nishkanu was overcoming a major ick factor in performing his task, but he didn’t need to get my appreciation while he was in the act.  He was only allowed to do the injection after I had set myself up in bed with a trashy novel, a juicy magazine, or my beloved internet.  He would go about his preparations totally ignored, while I waltzed away into the world of fantasy until the darned thing was over.  Better for both of us that way.

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1 Comment »

  1. Amy said

    LOVE the paragraph about the contrast between the fantastical instructional video and harsh reality!! Your blog has really helped me laugh about the shots. My first Estrogen shot is tomorrow, then Progesterone not too far behind!! I took them years ago, but somehow, magically, time has erased them from my memory. So, it feels like its the first time….and not in a nostalgic way!

    Good luck to you!!!

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