A question for anyone who has done IVF

posted by Mel

Are Progesterone in Oil (PIO) shots always part of the protocol for IVF? They sound really awful. I’m trying to mentally prepare. Nothing we’ve shot me up with so far has left the kind of bruising I’ve seen in pictures from PIO.



Filed under Gettin' Knocked Up

7 responses to “A question for anyone who has done IVF

  1. rosany

    Yes, progesterone shots are always part of the protocol. If you get pregnant those shots will continue until about 8-12 weeks so get used to them. Some RE also add progesterone suppositories that you will insert in your vagina.
    The progesterone really is the shittiest shot. It does not really hurt but leaves horribles wealts, bumps, bruises and makes the site itch like crazy.

  2. Co

    For the brief 2-day period when I thought I was going to do IVF this last cycle, I was told I’d have to do PIO shots. I think they’re pretty standard, unfortunately.

  3. Yeah, our nurse practitioner confirmed last night that PIO shots will be part of IVF– for up to 12 weeks. She said I might be able to get off of them after 6 or 8 weeks if they check my progesterone levels and I seem to be producing enough on my own. If I’m taking them for that long, I will have to learn to give them to myself because there’s no way I won’t be traveling at some point during that time. We’ll just have to suck it up and deal. The baby is worth it.

  4. Roxane

    You’re right, the baby will most definitely be worth it. Sucks that you have to go through this, though.

  5. PIO are stndard for a lot of clinics but mine use the suppositories and you could try to ask for that.

    But honestly I found the big needles better than the little ones. You can read all about on my blog.

  6. Laura

    The pio shots were terrible. I am only 4 weeks pregnant, but I am so sore and bruised. My Dr. switched me to the vaginal supisitories today. Anything is better than the shots.

  7. P

    Yes the progesterone shots are considered by many REs to be the best way to ensure you are getting the progesterone you need.
    I was terrified of them – in fact I thought they were the only thing in the IVF process that I feared. Turns out with some tips from some good friends, they are not so bad at all. So here is our routine


    Make sure you have Progesterone in Ethyl Oleate – much less viscous and therefore less painful that progesterone in sesame or olive oil

    Get your nurse to mark off the exact areas on your butt where the shots should be given. This is one the MOST important steps since the wrong location can cause a lot of pain (your sciatic nerve does NOT want to be bothered by a progesterone shot). Be sure to remark the area each night with a marker so you both know exactly where the shot should go.

    Ice the area for 10-15 mins before the shot. You can tell if the ice numbing is working by poking yourself with your fingernails on an area that has not been iced and the area that has been iced. You should feel barely anything on the iced area. Keep the ice pack on the area until right before your partner adminsters the shot

    Put a wet washcloth in the microwave. Also keep a hot water bottle filled with warm (NOT scalding) water nearby)

    The shot:
    Draw out the shot. Remeber to CHANGE the needle once the shot is drawn. Since PIO comes in a bottle with a rubber cover, the drawing needle becomes blunt once it pierces the cover. We had contemplated using higher guage (smaller hole) needles, but 22.5 guage works just fine and helps the medicine go in faster.

    Lie face down on the bed with your legs straight. Relax you butt muscle completely – i know, easier said than done, but this is key.

    Have your partner swab the area with alcohol. Let the alcohol dry and then have your partner administer the shot. Trust me you will feel nothing – except for something pressing against your skin. If you get queasy like me, try not to look at the needle.. it looks much scarier than it really is.

    After the shot:

    Wipe the area with guaze, occassionally there may be a couple drops of blood, but it wont hurt, so dont worry. While your partner goes to heat the washcloth (remember you had kept it in the microwave before the shot), rub the area as vigorously as you can. Trust me you wont feel a thing since it is still numb from the ice. But its important to rub as vigorously as possible to help the progesterone dissipate and prevent or minimize lumps the next day.

    Put the wet, warm washcloth on the area and continue massaging. My husband has a firmer hand than I do (and I dont like twisting around since we are in our 2WW), so he massages it for about 3-4 mins. Then I put the washcloth next to my skin and the hot water bottle above it to keep the heat going.

    After about 20-25 mins, we’re done. We usually watch a favorite DVD when we’re waiting to take our minds off it.

    No lumps, no pain the next day and the knowledge that you are giving your embryo/ blastocyst/ baby the best support you can – Priceless!

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