Many reproductive medicine protocols require at-home injections of fertility drugs. If you’re not used to giving yourself a shot, you may be worried if you see blood or medicine leaking from the injection site. Here we discuss what to expect when you’re injecting fertility medications.
Question: The last couple of nights when I gave myself Lupron shots, it looked like some of the medicine leaked out when I pulled the needle out. Am I doing anything wrong with my fertility drug injection?
Answer: It’s unlikely that you are doing anything wrong. When removing the needle from the injection site, you may expect one of three things:
- Nothing comes from the injection site.
- A small drop of medication comes from the injection site.
- A small drop of blood comes from the injection site.
Over the course of doing daily injections you may experience all of these scenarios. None of them are a cause for concern, or a reflection on your injection technique.
If you see blood at the injection site after the needle is removed, you likely nicked a small blood vessel at or below the skin surface, and blood is following the needle track out to the surface.
If you see a drop of medication at the injection site after withdrawing the needle, it is simply the medication following the needle track out to the surface.
There are a few tips that may decrease the likelihood of this occurring:
- First, most especially with the pen devices, once you have injected the medication into the skin, count to five before removing the needle.
- Second, apply gentle pressure with a gauze pad over the injection site as you remove the needle from your skin, and hold it for about 10 seconds. The gauze helps seal the punctured tissue and prevents leakage.
- Rotate injections sites from day to day, to keep the skin healthy and prevent scarring or hardening of fatty tissue that may decrease absorption of medication.
- Release the “pinch” once you have the needle in your skin, before you inject.
Melissa Bell is a nurse manager at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York. After graduating from Our Lady of the Lake College nursing school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she moved to New York and fell in love with the field of reproductive medicine. Melissa is passionate about helping individuals and families meet their family planning goals. She is currently working on research for the American Society of Reproductive Medicine and strives to be an influential leader for her nurses and an advocate for her patients.