How Many Injections for IVF Treatment?

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In recent years, conceiving a child naturally is becoming more and more challenging for many couples. The changes in their lifestyle and health conditions hinder them from having a child naturally. This is where ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) comes in.

ART is a rapidly growing concept in fertility where an individual or couple conceives and births a child through artificial means. IVF is one of the assisted reproductive techniques that help couples have a child of their own.

IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) is the most commonly practiced Assisted Reproductive Technique (ART). In IVF, the sperm and eggs (oocytes) are collected from the male and female and fertilised in a laboratory under artificial conditions. 

After the sperm fertilise the eggs, the embryo is monitored for growth and is then transferred into the uterus for further development. The embryo then implants itself into the uterine wall, resulting in pregnancy.

How Many Injections for IVF Treatment?

Depending on the treatment and its cycle, women undergoing IVF treatments will be administered injections of around 90 shots per cycle at the frequency of 1 to 2 shots per day. The injections would either be administered subcutaneously (into the fat under the skin) or intramuscular (into the muscles). 

The injections might include gonadotropins, that is, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). These hormones stimulate the ovaries to develop and produce several mature eggs. 

Another drug that can be administered to women undergoing IVF is progesterone. Progesterone is naturally produced by a woman’s body. If there is an insufficient supply of progesterone during IVF treatments, supplements are required to maintain the optimum levels. They are administered until the pregnancy-produced progesterone can maintain the optimum level by itself.

How to Make IVF Injections Easier?

The whole process of IVF treatment has multiple complications, and the injections are one of them. It is especially so for women who have a low tolerance for pain. As such, doctors follow various practices to ease the patient’s pain. Here is what you can do to make your IVF injection process a bit easier to undergo.

  • Educate yourself on the procedure, the side effects associated with it, and how to treat them symptomatically.
  • Speak with a professional who offers cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help you overcome your fear of needles and injections. The whole process has up to 90 injections. Learn the techniques for pinching or pulling the skin tight to simulate the injection pinch.
  • To numb the area, apply an ice pack or a heating pad. For the subcutaneous shot, 15-30 seconds of chilling is sufficient to numb the nerves; however, using a heating pad for about 10-15 minutes will relax the muscles and make them more malleable for the injection.

What to Expect from IVF Injections?

Women undergoing IVF treatments are administered injections during the ovulation stimulation process. These hormonal injections stimulate the ovaries and make them produce several matured eggs at the same time.

Normally, a woman’s uterus only produces one to two eggs a month. Through IVF injections, the uterus is made to produce several eggs simultaneously so that even if one egg fails to develop into an embryo, the doctors have other eggs to try IVF again. This also reduces the need to retrieve the eggs from the uterus repeatedly. 

After administering the injection, the fertility doctor will monitor the mother’s uterus through ultrasound and blood work to track the growth of the eggs until they are matured. This will help the doctor adjust the dosage as necessary. 

Here is what one can expect after being administered a hormonal drug.

  • Changes in body weight and an increase in appetite. Hormonal drugs can affect the body weight and BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) of the body. Women will also feel more hungry and experience an increase in appetite.
  • Mood swings. Hormonal injections can affect the emotional quotient of women and cause them to have frequent mood swings. 
  • Gastrointestinal problems. Diarrhoea and constipation are frequent side effects of hormonal injections. 

Which Time is Best for IVF Injections?

The general IVF procedure comprises gonadotropin injections to stimulate the ovaries. Recent research has revealed that the time of day does not affect the delivery rate, and there is no difference between taking them in the morning and evening. 

A clinical investigation found a difference in peak estradiol or progesterone hormone levels, number of mature oocytes, endometrial thickness, fertilisation stage, or blastocysts when gonadotropins were supplied in the morning and evening groups. 

Fertility injections take 8-14 days from the start of hormonal drugs before eggs are developed and ready to be extracted. To ensure greater egg quality, you must maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid excessive exercise once the IVF injection process begins.

Are IVF injections painful?

The IVF injections play a very important part in the whole procedure. The injections are usually delivered in the arms, thighs, or belly region. This is determined by the type of injection used.

In general, the injections are painless and considered safe. Some patients may experience minor discomfort after receiving the shots. There are also self-administered, unique fine-needled devices with little to no discomfort.

What are the Side-effects of IVF Injections?

Like any other medication, IVF stimulation injections may produce several common adverse effects. Before beginning therapy, it is critical to understand and discuss these with your doctor. Seek specialists guidance if you need help monitoring and managing them.

Here are some of the potential side effects you may experience after taking IVF injections. 

  • Abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Headaches, hot flashes, and night sweats.
  • Changes in cervical mucus.
  • Upset stomach.
  • Blurred vision (temporary).
  • Tender breasts.
  • Skin redness, soreness, or bruising on the injection site.
  • Restlessness and irritability.
  • OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome) – overstimulation of ovaries.

There is no certainty that the IVF injections will cause the above side effects. They are different for each woman based on their health and body conditions.

Conclusion

Fertility treatments provide a good chance for couples experiencing infertility to have a child of their own. Once you begin IVF treatment, it is advised that you keep a diary or calendar to document all of your planned shots (injections), appointments, blood tests, and so on. 

Make notes to assist your brain in remembering even the smallest things that may be crucial later on. It is critical to treat oneself in order to remain relaxed and cheerful during the period of IVF. The whole IVF procedure may be tedious and make you worry with uncertainty, but it will all be worth it when it becomes successful, and you can have a child of your own.

Frequently asked questions

Fertility injections take 8-14 days from the start of hormonal drugs before eggs are developed and ready to be extracted. To ensure greater egg quality, you must maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid excessive exercise once the IVF injection process begins.

The injections might include gonadotropins, that is, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). These hormones stimulate the ovaries to develop and produce several mature eggs. 

Another drug that can be administered to women undergoing IVF is progesterone. A woman’s body naturally produces progesterone. Supplements are required to maintain the optimum levels if there is an insufficient supply of progesterone during IVF treatments. They are administered until the pregnancy-produced progesterone can maintain the optimum level by itself.

Normally, a woman’s uterus only produces one to two eggs a month. Through IVF injections, the uterus is made to produce several eggs simultaneously so that even if one egg fails to develop into an embryo, the doctors have other eggs to try IVF again. This also reduces the need to retrieve the eggs from the uterus repeatedly.

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Dr. Rukkayal Fathima
Dr. Rukkayal Fathima

Dr Rukkayal Fathima, India's Leading Gynaecologist and the best fertility doctor in Chennai. She has 11+ years of experience and treated 1000+ patients. She finished her M. S., Obstetrics and Gynaecology from the Institute of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (Madras Medical College), Chennai. She is a visiting consultant at St. Isabelle Hospital, Motherhood Hospital, Rainbow Hospital & Mehta Hospital. Dr Rukkayal Fathima specialises in Obstetrics care, Early Pregnancy Scan, IVF, ICSI, TESA/Micro TESE, Menopause advice, Gynaecological surgeries and endoscopy. She is a Co-Founder of Hive Fertility, the Best Fertility Center in Chennai.

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