What are Fertility Injections?

Article Details
  • Written By: A.E. Freeman
  • Edited By: Kathryn Hulick
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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Fertility injections are given to women who have difficulty conceiving. The injections usually contain hormones designed to help a woman ovulate and to encourage egg follicles to grow. Occasionally, fertility injections are used along with another infertility treatment option, such as in vitro fertilization. These injections may also be combined with other injections to increase a woman's chances of becoming pregnant.

Usually, a woman or her partner will administer the fertility injections. Depending on the type of hormone, the injections may be made subcutaneously, just below the skin, or intramuscularly, between the muscles. It is important that injections occur at the same time each evening, preferably between 6 and 10 p.m.

A woman can choose to receive fertility injections if she has difficulty ovulating. Her body may not ovulate for several reasons. In some cases, the pituitary gland does not function properly and does not signal the ovaries to begin ovulating. A doctor may prescribe injections of human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG) in that case. hMG stimulates the ovaries in order to produce eggs.


Another injected hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), also stimulates the ovaries to produce eggs. FSH and hMG can be used together or on their own. Those fertility injections may be followed by an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which causes the egg to reach maturity and be released by the ovary. HCG also causes the body to produce progesterone so that the egg is able to successfully implant in the uterus.

Fertility injections are often monitored by either blood tests or ultrasounds to make sure they are working effectively. The ultrasounds and blood tests are used to determine if the ovaries are producing eggs. If the tests determine that the ovaries are not responding to the injections, the dose of hormones can be adjusted or another treatment may be attempted.

Some risks are involved in receiving fertility injections. The hormones may cause the ovaries to produce several eggs, meaning a woman who receives fertility treatment is more likely to conceive two or more babies at one time. The more fetuses carried at one time, the greater the risk for early births or developmental problems. In some cases, doctors can hold off on delivering an injection of HCG to prevent more than one egg from being released.

The injections can also produce unpleasant, but usually mild side effects. Pain and bruising at the site of the injection is common as are headaches and pain in the abdomen. hMG and FSH can also cause enlargement and hyper-stimulation of the ovaries.


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Post 4

I was given this injection, not for fertility, but to stop bleeding. I had some abnormal bleeding the first few months of my pregnancy and this injection stopped it.

The injection was so painful! Thankfully, I only had to have it done several times.

Post 3

@simrin-- I don't think HCG fertility injections are hard to do but it can take a while to get used to it. I've been doing them without problems. I do experience some burning in the area of the injection because it takes a while for the medicine to spread.

I would advise you to slightly warm the injection in your hand before doing it and don't be hesitant. Warming it reduces the pain and burning sensation. If you're not comfortable doing them, your husband can do them too.

Just make sure that you are following the doctor's directions closely about where the injection should be made. If you inject it elsewhere, you might hit a nerve.

Post 2

Do women have to do the injections themselves? Is it difficult to do?

Has anyone experienced bad side effects from them?

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