5 Easy Tips To Survive PIO Shots For IVF Transfer

Image of a woman holding a baby with a text overlay saying: 5 Easy Tips for PIO Shots - a complete guide

I have put together 5 easy tips to help you with administering your IVF transfer cycle progesterone injections. This is my take on how to deal with PIO shots as an IVF patient myself. If this is your first time dealing with an injection needle then you are in the right place. The “PIO” in PIO shots is the acronym for progesterone in oil injection. 

Table of Contents

5 Simple And Easy Tips for IVF Injections: A Complete Guide

My Take On IVF Shots As A Patient

As a person who hates shots, especially IVF shots, I was so scared when my IVF nurse was telling me how to administer the PIO shots. I mean I can handle a shot at the doctor’s office because I don’t have to give it to myself. I can look away and it’s over before it starts. But with fertility treatment, I had to give the PIO shot to myself and that freaked me out. 

Not to worry! I put together this IVF shots blog post to help anyone who feels the way I was feeling. The thought of having to inject myself with the large needle that comes with the progesterone shots once a day for my frozen embryo transfer made my stomach do a flip. But, I made it through each IVF injection and you will too. First, let’s take a look at what you’ll need.

What You’ll Need For The PIO Injections

  • Heating pad (for your bum!)
  • Washcloth (to heat the medication)
  • Alcohol swabs
  • Ice pack
  • Notebook
  • Deep breaths and trust the process 

5 Steps For Administering PIO Shots

To ease your nerves, here is the easy step-by-step guide with five detailed tips to lessen the pain of injections of progesterone. If your IVF journey has led you here then know you are in good company. You can do this!

I have had friends that went through IVF treatment and they liked to do morning shots but I did my PIO shots in the evening because it reduced my feelings of nausea, one of the common side effects. Now that could just be in my head because I never did morning shots but I think administering the injections in the evening helped me deal with the progesterone side effects

Keep your eye on the goal, which is a positive pregnancy test and a full-term, healthy pregnancy. As always, check with your healthcare provider to make sure you are administering the progesterone medication according to their treatment protocol. These steps are based on my experience and are not medical advice.

Step One: Sit On a Heating Pad

Sit on a heating pad on the injection site for 10 minutes before the injection. Heating the right spot on your bum will help to lessen the pain of the pio shots at the injection site. Since these are intramuscular injections they can cause knots in your muscle. 

My husband and my son would prep the shot (PIO vial)  by putting the progesterone medication into the syringe while I sat on the heating pad. We made it a family thing to make the most of it! I wanted to celebrate each part of our new baby joining the family…even, the part with th

Step Two: Warm the Progesterone Medication

It is important to note that the progesterone medication comes in thick oil. I found that heating up the medication made the injection much smoother. 

Run super hot water in your sink to heat the IVF injection to your body temperature. When the water is very hot put a washcloth under the water and get it soaking wet. Squeeze out the excess water, then wrap the washcloth tightly around the progesterone medication in the syringe for about 3-5 minutes. 

Hold the syringe in your hand with pressure on the part with the medicine. This gets the medicine heated up to your body temperature, which prevents the knots in your muscles. When you remove the washcloth the progesterone medication will feel very warm to the touch. That’s how you’ll know it’s ready. Remember body temperature is 98.6 degrees! So, it should feel pretty hot. 

My spouse did the injections for me. Make sure not to pinch the skin before the injection because you want the medicine to go into your muscle. Just inject it on a flat surface. Also, a quick jab was the easiest and least painful. Once the needle is injected push the medication out slowly so that your body absorbs it. This is key!! 

Step Three: Prepare Injection Site, Administer The Shot, And Don’t Pinch the Skin 

My spouse did the injections for me. I was a little bit nervous about him jabbing me at first but it ended up being easier having him give me the injection. Whether you or your partner give the injection is up to you. Just make sure not to pinch the skin before the injection because these are intramuscular injections and you want the medicine to go into your muscle. 

Remember to use the alcohol wipe to clean the injection site before giving yourself the progesterone injection. We also targeted the top corner of a back pants pocket as the general  injection site area. 

Make sure the injection needle goes into a flat surface. Put the needle in with a quick dart motion. This was the easiest and least painful method. 

Once the needle is injected push the progesterone medication out slowly so that your body absorbs it. This is key!! There’s no rush so just take your time and let your body absorb the progesterone medication. 

Step Four: Place Firm Pressure on the PIO Injection Site After The Injection

After the IVF injection put firm pressure on the injection site with a tissue or paper towel until it stops bleeding. You also could use the washcloth and apply pressure with that. I experienced a little bit of bleeding but after I applied pressure it stopped pretty quickly. 

Put a bandaid on then do squats to work the muscle. I also found that if I deeply massaged the injection site with the base of my hand I did not bruise.

You don’t have to massage the injection site for a long time; just about 2-3 minutes. I will say that the pressure I applied almost hurt the injection site but it was worth it!! Because I massaged the injection site, I got minimal muscular knots and pretty much no bruising. After massaging the injection site place the ice pack on that area to soothe the muscle.

Step Five: Get a Notebook To Keep Track Of Daily Injections

Get a notebook to write down which side (right or left) you took the PIO shots the day before. After having to take these progesterone injections for ten weeks, me and my spouse would forget which side the injection site was on the night before. It wasn’t something I thought would happen so I’m sharing it here. 

Get a notebook, index card, or something to write a quick note of the date and which side. I started to get “baby brain” pretty quickly in early pregnancy. After learning I was pregnant, this tip would have been very helpful for me! It seemed like there was so much to remember during my first trimester, so this little notebook will help you with that. 

5 Simple And Easy Tips for IVF Injections: A Complete Guide

The Outcome Is Worth The Risk

And, take it from a girl who literally HATES shots, it’s ALL WORTH IT!!! I am 28 weeks pregnant with our IVF transfer, miracle baby as I write this post. I had to do PIO shots every evening for 10 weeks and I survived. If I can do it, you can do it!! 

Fertility medication is just like anything else in life. The more you research and familiarize yourself with the process the more comfortable you will feel.

Other Treatments To Assist In Fertilty

I also want to mention acupuncture, acupressure, and the newest treatment I’ve discovered which is ear seeds acupressure to help with relaxation during IVF treatment. I have had several friends going through fertility treatment who swear by acupuncture. There is now a treatment called fertility ear seeds for acupressure that is super affordable. I wanted to mention it here because the ear seeds can also be used for anxiety associated with IVF treatment.

I hope this post will help you feel at ease and approach your fertility treatment with confidence. Be sure to also read:

Did this blog help you out on your fertility journey? I hope so! My heart is to reach others and share what I have learned in my journey. Sign up today to receive my emails on the latest from Seeking Him Today by going to our Stay In Touch page.