Truly, you can barely feel them, and other than sometimes bruising, they're not a big deal.
Now, progesterone-in-oil shots are a big deal. Literally.
Big needle. Big syringe. Big deal.
I'll show you the size comparison in another post, but for now, I'll discuss how this drug is administered and why it's important.
First, the how-to's, because let's face it, if the doctor says to do it, I'm going to do it whether I understand it fully or not.
After loading the syringe with the oil, I call Greg out of bed to give me the injection. He's not a morning person, so I use this to get him out of bed. It works beautifully because he doesn't want anything to compromise my IVF cycle.
I've already cleaned off a spot on my backside and he holds the skin tight (aka spreads the fat out) and shoves the needle in. At this point, I'm usually saying something like, "Quit hesitating" or "Do it ALREADY!!!" The anticipation is worse than the shot.
Once it's in, he holds the injection site still so he can pull back on the syringe.
He pulls back to make sure there's no blood entering the syringe. If there is, that means he's hit a vein (very rare, never happened to me) and he'll have to re-inject in a different spot.
Once confirmed that he's in the muscle and not a vein, he slowly injects 1cc of progesterone in.
We do this once each day and will continue to do so if my pregnancy test is positive on Friday.
So, you want to know why? I did, so I asked.
Progesterone is normally produced by the body and it sustains a pregnancy. It originates from the ovaries, after ovulation. I figured, since I ovulated 19 eggs, I'm producing a lot of progesterone, so I shouldn't have to take a shot. (This makes sense in my brain.)
It's true, my body *should* produce the progesterone, but I've been hopped up on all the other hormones (both suppression and stimulation) that interfere with my body's natural way of doing things, that it might interfere with my ability to produce progesterone correctly as well. So, we do these shots as a safety measure.
Progesterone works in the body in these ways:
- Helps to regulate the menstrual cycle.
- Prepares the lining of the uterus for implantation.
- Keeps the lining of the uterus thick which is necessary for a successful pregnancy.
- Produces a rise in temperature after ovulation, which remains until menstruation occurs.
- Creates a nutrient rich environment for the baby by increasing glycogen and arterial blood to the lining of the uterus.
- Keeps the uterus from having contractions.
- Causes the cervix to thicken and create a mucous plug which prevents bacteria from entering the uterus.
After ovulation, my progesterone needs to be at least 30 ng/mL to sustain a pregnancy. So, last Friday, I went in for bloodwork and it came back at 81 ng/mL. Perfect! No increase in dose.
And, other than showing you the size of the needles, which I'll do tomorrow, I don't have anything else to say about progesterone. It's a pretty straight-forward little booger.
ETA: In my original post, I misspelled "progesterone" 10 times including the title. Misspelling is SOOOOOOOOOOO unlike me, so let's hope it's pregnancy brain. And, if you're out there and noticed an untrue fact or misspelled word, please know I'd rather be corrected and be right, than go uncorrected and be wrong. Unless you're my husband, you can correct me anytime. ;)
One last thing, if you haven't already, please read the post below and comment to win one of the fabulous eBooks from Ella Publishing.