IVF, or In Vitro Fertilization, is the process of removing an egg from the woman's body, fertilizing it and then injecting the egg back into the womb. The IVF treatment is a solution for infertile couples. Since the procedure does not guarantee success and is very costly, it is often the last recourse for couples. To prepare the body for the IVF procedure, the woman is given IVF shots.
Types and Methods of IVF Shots
The number of shots varies with each individual and depends on the IVF protocol. The protocol is prescribed by the doctor and it generally contains three types of drugs: Lupron, FSH medicine and HCG medicine. Each of the three drugs has its own unique purpose:
- Lupron helps in suppressing the ovulation process until the eggs are mature
- FSH stimulates the development of multiple eggs
- HCG is for the final maturation of the eggs
The number of injections depends on the length of the cycle. If the protocol demands longer time, then the IVF injections start before the menstruation cycle. If the protocol demands a shorter time, the suppression of the ovulation cycle is pushed back later in the cycle. Shorter cycle IVF protocols require fewer injections.
Another method to minimize the number of shots is by combining the medications. In this, both the oral and injection medicines are combined, which reduces the number of monthly shots. For instance, without combining the medicines, a patient would have to take 30 IVF injections per month; by combining medicines, the same can be reduced to 10 shots per month. Even though the process is not FDA approved, several fertility clinics do follow the procedure. The doctor needs to consider the long and short duration protocols.
Administering the IVF Shots
The injections are given with a very small needle, just like diabetics take insulin shots. It is not always necessary for a doctor or nurse to administer the injection. With practice, one can do it at home or with the help of a family member.
To administer the injection, choose the injection site. Use alcohol to clean the site in circular motion. Remove the needle cover and hold the needle like a pencil. Squeeze the skin and position the needle at a 90-degree angle. Quickly insert the needle and use the plunger to inject (if the skin bleeds, remove the injection and prepare a fresh one). After the injection, gently remove the needle and dispose of it. Remember that every time a new spot should be chosen for the injection.
Cost of IVF
Infertility treatment is expensive, no matter which part of the world you're living in. In vitro fertilization is the last ray of hope for many couples. The cost of the treatment injections depends upon the country you are in and whether the insurance coverage offers any kind of health care options or not. Selecting the right clinic for the treatment is the main primary factor that determines the cost of IVF.