Tips on Pulling the Trigger – Shot That Is

If you are ready for the trigger shot, then by now you are well into the egg freezing process, or at least the part that involves follicle stimulation. This last injection won’t be the worst, but it might be the most stressful. Here are some tips to help you become a pro:

#1 - Timing is Everything. Whenever your doctor tells you to trigger, make sure you follow the instructions precisely. The time you are given is based on a number of key factors, including your blood levels and follicle size. If you need to complete the injection at 10:00PM on the dot, then have everything prepared prior to that point. If you trigger too early, it can cause your follicles to release the eggs too soon. Triggering too late might mean there will be a lower number of mature oocytes to freeze.  Always be prompt when it comes to the trigger shot.

#2 – Ice is Your Friend. By now you might have realized the wonderful numbing effects of ice on skin when preparing to inject yourself with follicle-stimulating hormones. This little trick will help, especially with the increased size and perhaps even volume (depending on what’s prescribed) of the trigger needle and its contents. Typically, placing an ice pack on the injection site for at least 60 seconds or more can immediately numb the area and make the injection less painful.

#3 – X Marks the Spot. Not only can administering the trigger shot be overwhelming, so can knowing where to insert the needle. Visit the nurse the day you're instructed to trigger, and ask him or her to draw a circle around the site with a sharpie. This will take the pressure off finding the location and let you focus on the shot at hand.

#4 – It’s Not the Size that Counts. Many women have said that the trigger shot seemed to be the largest of all the injectables they have administered, but looks can be deceiving. Typically, these needles are 1 ½ inches long and often 22 or 25 gauge but remember, the lower the number, the thicker the needle. Many times, the medication is drawn up with an 18 gauge needle, even though the smaller 25 gauge is what you will use for the injection. Don’t worry, this shot’s size is bigger than its bite.

#5 – Relax! I know that’s easier said than done, but just think: once you administer the trigger shot you’re only one procedure away from completing the egg freezing process! Whether you are freezing for social reasons or just to give yourself some time before your next pregnancy, the trigger shot is the end of the injections and the beginning of your freedom from future fertility worries. 

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