Finding injections really painful and... - Fertility Network UK

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Finding injections really painful and hard to pierce skin

road_to_motherhood profile image

Hi, I am on day 23 (tonight) of Buserelin and day 5 (tonight) of Menopur and Gonal F. I’m not going to lie I’ve found these stims injections HARD! Whether it’s the effect of moving from 1 to 3 injections a night or they are just taking their toll on me I don’t know, but I feel like I am over injections now and I’ve still got at least a few days if not a week or more to go 😫 don’t get me wrong I’d do ANYTHING to be a mum but I think I completely underestimated this part of the journey (you know, like the main part, the actual IVF 🙄🤦🏻‍♀️).

Anyway, my actual question is that the injections are really painful and the needles don’t pierce my skin easily. My husband does my injections as I hate needles, but he really has to push hard to get them through my skin and I have to squeeze my tummy or thigh (we’ve tried both areas) quite a lot to get them taught enough to push through. This ends up just being a dreadful and painful process which I now have to go through 3 times every evening. I’ve not tried ice or numbing cream but it’s got to the point now where I need something. What’s everyone’s experiences with either? Is there a preference? Anyone else’s skin like a rhinos and hard to pierce needles through?! Please help!

41 Replies

Have you tried more of a stab than a push with the needle?

We were told not to stab too hard as it can damage a layer of skin at the back when it goes in so my husbands being really gentle (probably too gentle! 😬) but I’ve used emla cream one night and an ice pack last night a d I think that gives him the confidence to push a bit harder as it’s less painful for me!

I’m quick but gentle is best way amd least pain! Slow is worst 🤣

I started using ice after a while, I think it depends on how thick the needles are as well as some of them (the really fine ones) went in way more easily than others! But also trying to go in gently probably does make it harder to pierce the skin than a quick stab.

I think your right. I used ice last night and that really helped so I think I’m going to continue with that!

SurferGrrrl profile image
SurferGrrrl in reply to ki50

Ice pack for few minutes on the area before is my way! Also after!

So sorry you are having a tough time with the injections. I have just finished my second cycle and found it really difficult taking the injections over the last few days so I really feel your pain. I found the angle I used to inject made a really big difference. I’m sure you would have had the same advice of putting the needle in at a 90 degree angle and sometimes that was really difficult for me so I tried to keep as close to 90 as possible but played around with the angle a bit. I also ended up doing the injections myself rather than dh as I could control it more.

Really hope it gets better for you. And try whatever you need to to get through the last few days!

Thank you so much and I’m sorry you also found it difficult the last few days but I am glad it’s not just me! I really don’t understand how the angle of the needle makes so much of a difference but we’re doing what they said with the 90 degree but I’m sure that’s what makes it harder to go in! I really wish I could do then myself (and I will try one injection myself) but it’s the ‘pop’ when the injection pierced the skin that makes me feel funny! 🤢

Ewww I hate the pop!

I decided to do my own injections as whenever he did them for me it would hurt. When I did my own (the first one was hard but after that I just got on with it) I controlled where it went. Also i learned where the best spots were that caused the least pain. I do have bruises though from where I got it wrong.


Thank you. I’d love to be able to do my own but it’s the ‘pop’ as it pierced the skin that makes me feel funny 🤢🤢 I do want to try one myself though!

I completely understand. When he did them they popped. When I did them they slid rather than feeling any popping. I recommend giving it a go, it’s a massive feat and I felt a lot less reliant xx

I'm sure you're not doing this but thought I'd check just in case. But are you swapping from the thicker needle to the thinner one before injecting?

IVF is a pain between needles, tablets and pessaries I feel like trying to remember what to do when takes up a large amount of my brain x

My syringes are stuck and I can’t change the needles unfortunately 😔 ooh yes it’s totally consumed my brain! Limited capacity for anything else! 😂🙈

Sorry to hear this. The injections are really annoying. I sometimes panic when they don’t go in. I do them myself. The technique I use is to angle the needle before pushing into the skin. I also ensure the sharpest part goes in first at an angle. This usually makes it pain free. Hope this helps.

Thank you so much. We’ve been told they all need to be given at a 90 degree angle although I have no idea what difference this makes! (Well apart from a painful one!) 😂

I have a severe needle phobia and really struggled, I was on short protocol so you've done really well for so long. Get some EMLA cream and put it on an hour before. It's great for blood tests too. That was the only thing that got me through this process. I found ice made my skin tougher to pierce so I wouldn't recommend that. Also make sure he isn't pinching the skin too tight as that also made it harder to pierce the skin for me. I couldn't let my hubby do mine as I was scared he'd hurt me, if you can, try doing one yourself as you can feel what's ok and he can't. You've got this!

Thank you so much! It’s the ‘pop’ as the needle pierced the skin that makes me feel funny 🤢🤢 but I really do want to try one myself just to say I did it (or tried to do it!). I’ve tried emla and ice and I’m not sure which made the most difference if I’m honest but going to keep trying both as they’re better than nothing!

I know what you mean, when you finally break the skin. Makes me shiver at the thought. I hated that every time. The EMLA works great for the site so you can't feel it, you still have to pierce the skin though and nothing takes away the sting of the medications unfortunately. If you want to do one yourself then give yourself plenty of time and don't beat yourself up if you decide against it and get your hubby to do it. Prep yourself a little treat for after too. Whatever gets you through it! I had spare syringes so I did practice runs a couple of weeks before I was due to start which took the pressure off when it actually came to doing the stims. It took a few tries before I actually did it and it took me an hour to build up the courage that time. You'll get there. One step at a time. Wishing you lots of luck.

I’ve just started icing my stomach first for one of the injections as the needle is so thick, its really helpedI also do them myself as I found it more painful when my husband did them. Keep going you’re doing a great job!!!

Thank you so much! Really want to try one myself, not sure how successful I’ll be but at least I’ll have given it a go! I’ve tried ice and emla now and both have been better than nothing so going to keep that up!

I had the same this last round, 3 injections a day and it did get harder near to the end as the skin and muscle seem to react from the mini traumas. I used to run some oil (bio or an essential oil mix) on an evening before bed to soothe and soften, it may make things a little easier, but the girls are right sometimes when you try and be more careful it’s worse. Try your own you maybe surprised, a breath in then and inject on the out breathe, that’s what my acupuncturist does and it helps for sure. Keep going you’ve got this!! Xx

Thank you so much for the tips! Definitely will be trying these!! And thank you xx

Hi sorry to hear you are finding the injections so painful. I’ve done 2 rounds of ivf and 3 transfers, despite hating needles I’ve been lucky that they haven’t been too painful. I always use an ice cube to numb the area for 10 mins or so before the jab, then afterwards ice the area again and I use arnica cream twice a day to try and limit the amount of bruising. It is hard though as repeatedly injecting in similar areas I think trauma under the skin can make it tougher. I also have plenty to grab around my tummy so that might make it less painful than someone with less to grab! I’ve been on daily lubion injections the last 6 weeks and those have made me a bit teary at times as the oil based injection is more painful. It’s so hard, my husband does the jabs, I try to focus on something else and deep breathe then lie down for 10 mins after and ice the area again. Best of luck, maybe try the ice and double check with the clinic you have the right needles? Xx

I found that injecting at a 45 degree angle rather than a 90 degree angle reduced the pain!

I’ve been told they must be at a 90 degree angle although I have no idea what difference it makes! 🤔 but I can definitely see this being less painful if it were an option 😕

I really struggled with the menopur and this was the only thing that helped. Reduced bruising too. I learnt it from my biologist friend

I was originally told that but then watched a video from my clinic (demonstrating what to do) and it said 90 or 45 degree angle!! 45 does hurt less!!

Make sure you place the needle at an angle while piercing the skin, dont put it straight. That was helpful to me, you can also use ice to numb the area. x

Thank you. I used ice last night and that helped. I’ve been told they must be at a 90 degree angle although I have no idea what difference it makes! 🤔 x

Good to know it worked for you. I'm glad.The 90 degree angle is for easy penetrative of the needle into the skin. Take care.

Sorry you're having a tough time. I find putting earbuds in and listening to loud music helps! Helps to distract your mind away from other less pleasant sensations. A bit like putting them in when you're in an open plan office to drown out the irritations 🤭. Also, try to stab rather than push in. Good luck xx

Ooh the music is a great tip! Thank you! I may try that! Distraction is key! xx

Are you using the smallest needles - the yellow needles? I found the second smallest one - the brown needles - harder and more painful.

They’ve only given me one type of needle which is attached to the syringe (not interchangeable) 😕

I’m also taking Buserelin and Gonal-f, I was dreading the injections as I’m sooo scared of needles. My husband hates the thought of hurting me and can’t bring himself to help me do them, so I’ve been having to do it myself and actually I think I’d prefer to do it myself now.

I’ve been doing my Buserelin injections in my tummy and Gonal-f in my thighs to switch it up a little and have found them to be ok, so long as psych myself up and count 1-2-3 then go in with the needle quickly. It’s definitely worse if you hesitate or go slowly. I know it’s difficult but maybe try doing the injections yourself one night just to see if it makes any difference. I was a little disheartened at first when my husband said he couldn’t help but I’m glad he did now as I prefer feeling in control of needles entering my body. I tried using an ice pack before I done my injections but I actually found it made them worse, so if you’ve been using an ice pack it may be an idea to try without.

Personally, I’ve found that the needle going in is fine and it’s the actual drugs going in that can nip or sting a little. I’ve been on Buserelin for 26 days where I’ve been injecting myself (I was on the nasal spray for a week beforehand) and have been on Gonal-f for 10 days now. Got my second follicle scan tomorrow so really hoping I can do trigger tomorrow night for EC on Wednesday. Sending lots of good luck and best wishes with your cycle ☺️🌈🍍

Thank you so much! And sending loads of luck your way!! Sounds like we are very similar stages (I’m day 25 tonight now of injections and day 7 of stims). I really want to try injecting myself but it’s the ‘pop’ as the needle pierces my skin that makes me feel funny 🤢 definitely going to try though so at least I can say I’ve done one! Great tips though thank you! xx

You’re very welcome. I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but felt like we were in similar boats and anything I said might help. Just had my second scan and been told I’m sorted for EC on Wednesday 🤗. So glad the trigger tonight will be my last shot. Definitely try yourself, you might be surprised.

Sorry you’re going through this. Have you tried buying different needles? I had the same problem and thought, “what’s wrong with my skin?” I’d push really hard and it would just indent my skin and get stuck / sticky as it would slowly pierce through! Painful and stressful. I found the needles given to me by the clinic were not that sharp. My friend who gave me really thin needles to use (orange cap and very thin, if that helps) and the needle slid in without all the indentation, stabbing and slow painful piercing. You can buy them over the Internet - I’d say try those. It made it so much easier for me. You don’t have rhino skin, just rubbish needles 💖🌺 xx

Bless you. Thank you so much. My Buserelin needles have the orange cap and they’re not too bad, but the gonal f and Menopur have a white cap and they’re the ones were struggling with at the moment but never occurred to me to try different needles! 🤦🏻‍♀️ I might give that a go! Thank you! xx

I think these are the ones:

Unisharp 1ml 27 Gauge Fixed Needle Syringe: Orange (12mm Needle)

I only used the clinic syringe to withdraw the meds and then dispense through back of new syringe and replace plunger / dispense air bubbles etc. Hope this might help??

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