IVF progesterone injection

Progesterone is a hormone secreted from the corpus luteum of the ovary. This happens in the second half of the menstrual cycle. It starts just before ovulation from the follicle(s) that will release an egg(s). It gets the uterus ready for pregnancy.

Progesterone shots are important. The egg retrieval may strip the corpus luteum of secreting cells when the follicle(s) are aspirated. The corpus luteum is not formed during a frozen or donor egg cycle.

How do I get the injection ready?

Like your other medicine(s), take this at about the same time each evening. It is packaged in a ready to use vial. It is thick and oily. A vial has more than 1 dose.

To get the injection ready:

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Gather supplies on a clean work surface. You will need:
  3. Syringe with a needle
    • 22-gauge 1 1/2 or 21-gauge 
    • 2-inch needle
    • 2 alcohol wipes
    • Cotton balls
  4. Remove the plastic or aluminum cap from the vial.
  5. Wipe the rubber top with alcohol.
    • Draw air into the syringe. It should equal the amount of medicine you will draw up.
  6. Use the scale on the syringe labeled with cc or ml.
  7. Remove the needle cover by pulling it straight off.
  8. Put the needle into the vial through the rubber top. Then, push the air into the bottle.
  9. Keep the needle in the bottle. Turn the bottle upside down.
  10. Pull back on the plunger to remove the ordered amount of medicine. Keep the tip of the needle below fluid level. This is so you do not pull in air.
  11. Check for air bubbles. Tap the syringe with your finger to move any bubbles to the top. Then, gently push the plunger up to push out the bubbles.
  12. Check to be sure you have the right dose drawn up. 
  13. Remove the needle from the vial.
  14. Remove the needle from the syringe by twisting. Put it in the sharp’s container.
  15. Attach the needle for injecting.
  16. Give the injection in the marked site. 

What can I do to lessen the discomfort of the injection?

  • To lessen the soreness and leaking of the medicine from the needle site, try:
  • Putting a cold pack on the site for 10 to 15 minutes before the injection.
    1. Using the Z-track method. This makes a zigzag path that seals the progesterone into the less sensitive muscle. 
    2. Clean the site with an alcohol swab. 
    3. Let it dry so the site does not sting. 
    4. Remove the needle cap. 
    5. Use the hand without the syringe to pull the skin tightly to the side. 
      • Keep the skin pulled until after you remove the needle. 
      • The person getting the injection can also hold the skin tight. 
    6. After pushing in the medicine, keep the needle in for about 10 seconds. Then pull the needle straight out quickly. 
    7. Let go of the skin. 
    8. Gently massage the site.

Other ways you help absorption are:

  • Walk to use the muscle.
  • Use a heating pad or warm moist towel on the site. Do this for 15 minutes 2 or 3 times a day.
  • Massage the site.
  • Rotate the sites.

What are the side effects?

  • Tender breasts
  • Spotting or bleeding
  • Edema (swelling)
  • Mood changes
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Headache
  • Vaginal irritation (from suppositories)
  • Delayed menstrual period and/or changes in menstrual flow (if you are not pregnant)
Last reviewed: 
January 2022

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