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Frequently Asked Questions On Infertility And IVF: Are The Injections Painful?

Frequently Asked Questions On Infertility And IVF: Are The Injections Painful?


With the advent of newer fertility medications (Puregon and Gonal F), many injections that were given intramuscularly can now be replaced by medications given as a little injection under the skin (subcutaneous). This method is similar to insulin injections to diabetic patients. Additionally one medication, which has been given as a subcutaneous injection (buserelin), can be replaced by a medication administered as a nasal spray. Both medications are equally effective.

Once the egg retrieval is performed, progesterone supplementation is used to prepare the lining of the uterus for the transfer of embryos. For most of our treatment cycles, we recommend using progesterone injection (gestone) or progesterone pessaries.

Women (on an average), may have to inject only 10-12 days of Puregon or Gonal F and one subcutaneous injection of hCG before the eggs are ready to retrieve.

Are The Procedures Painful?
The only procedure that could be considered minor surgery in the IVF process is the retrieval of the eggs from the ovary. During this procedure a needle attached to a vaginal ultrasound probe is passed through the wall of the vagina and into each ovary.

A light anaesthetic is administered intravenously prior to retrieving your eggs, which wears off quickly after the procedure. Without anaesthetic for this procedure, it could be quite painful. The procedure is relatively quick (approx 20-30 minutes). After the procedure the patient may feel some minor cramping in the ovaries that can also be treated with very safe medications.

Each patient at every egg retrieval procedure is closely monitored by a fully board certified anaesthesiologist. This allows us to safely provide as much anaesthetic as may be necessary to provide complete pain relief for the procedure. In pain or discomfort terms, an embryo transfer is often compared to a PAP smear. It is a rapid procedure (5 min) that is performed with no sedation unless medically required

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