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Endometriosis UK
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Going for a Zoladex 10.8mg injection and terrified, have a major phobia for needles. Is this really painful?

I was diagnosed with Endo last month and on my 2nd app with doc, was told a lap ad to be done which i had done one the 27th dec, first Zoladex was given while i was under so not sure what to expect. doc advised i take the 10.8mg coz it will last 3 seeing that i am so scared of needles.

15 Replies

hi, good luck for your injection. i was on zoladex for nearly 4 years, after i guess 3 years the nurse told me i could use Emla cream on the area on my tummy and cover with a special plaster that would numbe the area so i wouldnt feel a think ...

not sure if your injection is today, and if youve got time to get this cream ?? if not perhaps ask for the presecription for next month,


hi there,

thanks for replying, i am going in on sat for this injection.

Going to go have a look for this cream.

Hope it helps


Hi Nicky

Sorry to hijack the post but you're one the first people I've seen who was on a very long course of zoladex like I was (mine was 2 years). Are you off it now and do you have any continuing symptoms?

I'm having some major problems - if you're having any issues, maybe you could get in touch?



Hey there,

just wanted to thank you for shraing this info with me. It worked beautifully and helped with the pain


It is nothing to worry about, if you have endo you are used intense pain and this is only a little bit of discomfort for a couple of seconds. I agree with the last post, get some Lidocaine or similar local anaesthetic ointment and apply ten mins or so before your jab. Also, avoid looking at the needle, tell the person giving the injection you have problem with needles. Good luck!


Hi there,

You see my problem is that i was diagnosed with endo last month and have never suffered with any pain, didnt have any idea i had a problem. Since being on this site and doing my own research, i was shocked to find how many women suffer with this disease and to what extend. I am really scared as all this is so new to me.

Went to doc twice and then after had a lap done and now all this, in a space of just over a month.

Thanks for the tips on how to numb area, i did ask my doc for a local anaesthetic but he refused seeing that i am this scared, he said it would make this worst.


No, no, no!!! Please speak to your GP again and insist on a local - as someone with a needle phobia, trust mre. The local is a small, minor injection - you'll feel the sting more than the needle. The zoladex jab is much larger and more painful - I'm sure there are lots of ladies who are fine with it but of you're scared of needles you're hyper sensitive to the pain and sensations of injections. I had one zoladex jab without a local and refused to have any more until my GP calmed me down, explained she would always give me a local and was very sensitive to my concerns.

GPs and nurses are often very desensitised to needles so they often don't understand how bad needle phobias can be. Please don't have zoladex without a local and please don't have the 3 monthly jab ( see my post below) - I made both mistakes and learnt from them!

I realise it must be a huge shock to be diagnosed with endo having had no symptoms - its more common than you'd think, but most people who use boards and forums have had years of symptoms and waiting for a diagnosis so you don't hear from people like you very often. Endo is a very individual disease and we all react differently - just because many others have pain and other symptoms doesn't mean you'll ever have pain or symptoms from it. I know this makes it difficult to put yourself through things like zoladex if you aren't suffering, but I'm guessing this is all happening because you're concerned about your fertility so it's all worth it. It's awful that endo has developed and possibly affected your fertility without you even knowing anything was wrong - its very different from many people here but that doesn't mean you're "better off" or anything like that.

You can get through the zoladex, I promise - just get those locals and get the monthly jabs, otherwise you might go through all of that for nothing.


My doc said because of my phobia i shoudl take the 3 month one as i wont be able to handle it. he is one of the best in his field but seriously lacks bedside manners. He refused to give me a local, said he has been doign this for 15 years and i should trust him. I have already ordered the 3 month one and paid for it, hoping it wasnt a mistake in doing so.

We are trying to save up now to do ICSI as doc advised thats our only route, the plan is to maybe be on it was 6 months, thats if we can rake up all that cash.

Yes it has been and is such a shock, trying to deal with it and get as much info that i can as possible. it saddens me that I didnt even know what was goign on inside me until i decided to try and fall pregnant.

I am trying to stay positive but its so hard especially when you hear how bad this disease it and how it has affected my cahnces of conception.....

I went out now and got Emla Cream and those special plasters that Nickym1d mentioned, hoping and prayign that it helps.

Its nice to hear from someone that understands the extent of my fear for needles, i know lots might think i am acting like a big baby.

thanks to everyone for the replies, really appreciate it, nice to know that i am not alone


Hi :)

When I have mine, the nurses have a freezing spray in the room that they offer to use, but to be honest that would just mean I'm in there longer! so I don't bother. It literally takes 2 seconds and hurts less than stubbing your toe, for example. In fact, the most 'painful' bit about it is that it can bruise for a couple of days afterwards.

Don't work yourself up into a state about it, honestly. I hate needles too but it really isn't a big deal :)

Good luck xxx

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Agh, just lost a verying message! Here we go again...

Firstly, please, please do not have the 3 monthly jab as its not licensed for the treatment of endo - in some people it's less effective, in others it doesn't work to control the symptoms at all because it's not as consistent. I had 3 x monthly jabs then tried the 3 monthly - all my symptoms came flooding back as though I'd had nothing, but I had to wait 3 months before I could have another monthly.

I too have a crippling needle phobia but had monthly zoladex injections for two years. It wasn't my favourite thing to do but it was nowhere near as bad as a blood test etc. (please don't stay on zoladex for 2 years - this was a big mistake!)

Firstly, make sure your gp or nurse gives you a local - this really stings but the needle is very small and you'll hardly feel the needle, just the stinging which is unpleasant but not awful. Once that works, they can insert the implant - you'll feel pressure and a click when it ejects. Make sure they press the area with their finger first to ensure they've used enough local - occasionally I would feel a slight pain but mostly I just felt the pressure. Do not watch it or even look at the needle - it looks worse than it feels!

If your gp is understanding, they could prescribe you some ametorp (sp?) gel which is the freezing cream they use in kids hospitals. I had this for my first jab in hospital and it was brilliant. Youd probably have to apply it yourself a set time before the appointment. As the insert is going beneath the skin they may still give you a local jab but you won't feel it! You can also buy lidocaine gel at the chemists which would do a similar job but ask your go first.

I promise you, it's nowhere near as bad as you think. My needle phobia started when I had my tonsils out at 5 and during my teens I would faint or throw up whenever I had to have an injection or evil blood test. At 18, I had an accident where I nearly lost my arm and I had to have so many stitches. Then all the hospital admissions for endo with cannulas - my phobia went through the roof. I actually think it was the regular zoladex jabs that improved my phobia - having them regularly, knowing when they were happening and being more in control of it that way really helped me. I'm not cured but I can just breathe deeply and put up with it now when I couldn't before. I hope you cope with the jabs and that they improve your symptoms massively.




For some reason it won't let me reply directly to your reply so I'll post here instead.

You're definitely not alone. I was diagnosed with endo in 2004 and I've only gotten through it because of the support and friendship of online support groups. It makes such a difference.

You're definitely not being a baby at all - phobias aren't like normal fears, you cant rationalise them or try to beat them with logic! However, they can be improved and I think my course of zoladex was like gradual intro therapy as I got calmer each time. That's one bonus, I guess!

So is it your gynae or your GP doing the jab? The thing is, even if they have been doing it for 15 years, it's your body and you get to choose what happens to it. He can't refuse to give you anaesthetic but I know how hard it can be to stand up to doctors. It's great that you've got the emla cream - hopefully that will be enough to make it manageable for you. If you still find it traumatic, stand up for yourself the next time - use the cream and ask for a local too.

With regards to the three monthly injection, I don't know what to say really - on the one hand, I'm tempted to say have it as you've already paid for it and see how it goes.

However, in my case, I knew it wasn't working because my symptoms came back - in your case, you have no symptoms so there's no way to know whether it's working correctly or fully.

I've just done a google search on this issue and found some hospital prescribing guidelines - it said that endo should be treated ideally with the monthly injection. In addition it said that the 3 monthly jab is not licensed for the treatment of breast cancer because "the manufacturers state it does not give reliable ovarian suppression for 12 weeks". If this is the case, it shouldnt really be used for endo either as the ovarian suppression has to be consistent for it to work.

Years ago I read a study which said that the 3 monthly implant was brought in to ensure "higher patient compliance" (eg to make sure people didn't quit part way through) rather than it being of benefit to the patient. I'd also be concerned about having the three monthly jab first as that's a long time for it to stay in your system if it causes you any problems.

Again, I've just looked at the RCOG guidelines for endo treatment and it doesn't specifically say that the three monthly jab should not be used - in fact, it doesn't specify anything and just refers to it as zoladex.

I would do some research of your own and decide what to do. I wish I could give you more specific advice - as you're meant to be having it on Saturday, I suspect you'll have it anyway which is probably what I'd do in your place. The difficulty is that you won't know if it's not controlling the endo as you might do if you had pain. What I would probably do is switch to the monthly after the first jab wears off - the guidelines state that IVF is more likely to succeed after 3-6 months of a treatment like zoladex so even if only the latter 3 months of treatment works fully, your chances will still be improved.

I can't imagine what it must be like to find all this out after having no symptoms. It must be such a shock. Just remember that you're not alone and plenty of people are here to help.



Well I am hoping that i will be able to conquer my phobia by going through with this.

Its my gynae thats going to give me the jab. And he is really not a compassionate person, think he has been around and seen everything, that nothing phases him you know....

I am so scared, really dont want to have to go for another lap. Want to do any and everything possible to avoid going through all that again.

I have been doing research however the are so much information online, its scary and sometimes confusing. Definietly need to find out more though so i know what to expect.

Gynae advised that we cant do IVF at all as my hubby as extremely low sperm count and only ICSI will help us. We will have 0% chance with IVF.....

Thanks for taking the time to reseacrh for me as well as share your experience,views and suggestions with me, its is highly appreciated.


I know it's scary - I was 21 when I was diagnosed and I remember feeling completely alone and terrified but you're not. Sadly there are so many of us with this.

I know exactly the kind of gynae you mean - in fact, if he's a specialist, I think I might know who it is! If I'm right, there's another specialist at the same hospital who specialises in fertility treatment too (he is a pioneer in various fertility treatments and hugely respected) and is the loveliest doctor I've ever dealt with, ever. I can't name people here - maybe send me a message?

Things like needle phobias really complicate matters because, even though your main priority is your fertility, your phobia can get in the way of doing what you need to do. You can do it though - zoladex sounds like a needle phobics worst nightmare, but it's actually not as bad as you think. I wouldn't lie to you - I know that you'd much rather know the truth so you can prepare for it. It won't be a fun day out, but it's quick and as long as you relax as much as possible, you'll be fine. I find breathing exercises are a big help too.

The good news is that zoladex should help your chances of conceiving through ICSI - I do know one other lady who has been through this, sadly it was not successful, so let me know if you have any questions and I can speak to her for you.

Do you know if the gynae treated the endo during the op? Some do and some don't during the first op. Surgery does improve your chances of conceiving for apparently 6-12 months - hopefully if the gynae removed your endo, the zoladex will maintain that and prolong your chances.

I really hope that the fertility treatment is successful - I would definitely suggest joining some support groups for people going through ICSI or assisted fertility in general as they will have a lot of info for you and you will need a lot of support. It is an extremely difficult process but I sincerely hope it pays off for you. If its not successful to begin with or the surgeon didn't or couldn't remove all your endo, you may need further laps in future. I know the first one is especially horrible but it does get easier when you know what to expect - I've had five now, the most recent was the worst due to problems after the op, but I'm not really scared of them anymore.

I think you can click on my name and send private messages - please feel free to get in touch if you want to talk or ask my friend any questions. You don't have to go through it alone.


One more thing - when you said you'd paid for the jab already, do you mean privately or on an nhs prescription (assuming you're in the UK - maybe you're not)?

I may be completely wrong but here is some advice if you are seeing your gynae privately in England - I'm guessing you may be being treated privately due to the speed of diagnosis. If so, with a letter from your consultant you can get your GP to prescribe it on the nhs and administer it for you so you don't have to pay for appointments. As you've now been diagnosed, you can also get referred to your specialist on the NHS for future appointments and ops - depending on where you live and your situation, you may still have to pay for the ICSI but you could save money on the gynae treatment.


I am sorry to hear of your issues, I had a 6 month (monthly zoladex) when I was 20 and diagnosed with stage 4 endo! It ruptured my appendix which is how it was found! I then had several surgeries and am currently on 5 years of zoladex and a very low dose HRT to prevent bone damage, as it's long term I'm on the 3monthly injections which are no bigger etc and I still do them myself! It works ace! Just as good if better than monthly as my monthly ones felt like they were becoming ineffective after day 19/20 these last almost the full 12 weeks so no peaks and troughs! I think to myself the pain from my endo makes me often just double over in agony, so the needle is nothing and a treatment for a severe pain! You can get local creams from the chemist no problem and if you struggle ask the chemist beforehand. Local by injection is not a suitable treatment for needle phobia as it's not the pain you are scared of it's the needle. I think you will realise when you first get it done it's not as bad as cannulae which you will have had for your anaesthetic or blood tests but gives analgesic effect immediately x x take care and give it a go xx

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