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What is Ovidrel?
Ovidrel (a.k.a. Ovitrelle) is a syringe pre-filled with a liquid preparation of the hormone hCG called choriogonadotropin alfa (catchy name, isn’t it?). The Ovidrel shot is also known as the trigger shot, because it is used to trigger ovulation. Once your doctor determines that your follicles have sufficiently developed, the hCG injection will help induce the final maturation of the eggs and their release from the follicles. Ovulation should happen within 24-36 hours from the injection, so you should have sex during this time period. If you are undergoing an IUI cycle, your insemination will likely be scheduled for the next day, or the one after it.
What are the Ovidrel injection instructions?
The Ovidrel shot can be administered in the doctor’s office, but it is also very easy to inject at home. Start by washing your hands thoroughly to prevent infection and then select the injection site. Pick a spot about 2 inches away from your belly button, either to its side or below. Wipe the area with an alcohol swab to sterilize it, and let it air-dry. Take the syringe out of the box, remove the cap, and hold it with the needle pointing up. You will notice an air bubble on top of the fluid – push the plunger gently to remove it (so that the liquid would fill the void where the bubble once was), but be careful not to waste too much liquid, except for a small drop covering the tip of the needle. Stand or sit comfortably, pinch an inch of fat around the spot you selected, and inject the dose. Gently withdraw the needle and throw it in a safe container. This is very important – you don’t want anyone to get pricked or cut by your needle. If you don’t have a special sharps container for disposal, put the syringe in a strong plastic or metal container with a tight lid. If you’re bleeding, place a gauze or band aid over the injection spot.
Does it hurt?
Not really. Some women who inject at home find it a bit scary to stick a needle in their own body, and if you are one of them (I know I am), you may want to ask your significant other or someone else you trust to give you the shot. Either way, the injection itself feels like no more than a quick pinch. You may feel a dull sensation afterwards, but it should subside within a few minutes.
Are there any Ovidrel side effects I should be aware of?
Like any medication, Ovidrel is not devoid of side effects. About a third of the women using Ovidrel will experience a side effect, most commonly pain, inflammation or bruising in the area where the Ovidrel was injected. Another common side effect, which I experienced first-hand, is digestive problems and stomach ache. Nausea and vomiting might also happen. As with many other fertility medications that stimulate egg production, one of the most serious complications of Ovidrel is Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS), a condition important enough to warrant a post of its own. In short, OHSS is a situation in which the ovaries are swollen and enlarged, and fluid might leak into the abdomen and chest. Most of the time the condition is mild and will mostly cause discomfort, but in rare cases it can lead to life-threatening complications. Contact your doctor if you suffer from severe abdominal pain, intense nausea or vomiting, dizziness, shortness of breath, excessive weight gain or decreased urination.
Where can I buy Ovidrel?
Ovidrel should only be used with a prescription, and in fact, it is even considered a controlled substance in some states, most notably New York. It should be prescribed to you by a physician as part of an infertility treatment plan. Because it is not a widely used medicine, your regular pharmacy will probably not carry it. Your doctor’s office should have a list of local and mail-order pharmacies from which you can get Ovidrel. If you have insurance, reach out to your provider in advance to ensure that it covers Ovidrel and obtain authorization if necessary – without insurance, Ovidrel cost can be as high as $140. When you get the syringe, make sure to store it in the refrigerator until it is time to use it.
How early can I take a pregnancy test after getting the Ovidrel shot?
If you are undergoing fertility treatments, you are probably eager to find out how well it went by taking a pregnancy test. However, there’s a catch – as long as the hCG in still in your system, it can trick home pregnancy tests into thinking that you are pregnant. For this reason, doctors recommend waiting two full weeks before testing. Your body eliminates approximately half of the hCG that is still in the system every 23-35 hours, so 14 days following the injection, Ovidrel should be completely out of your system. To be on the safe side, though, you would want to confirm any positive home test results with a blood test at the doctor’s office.
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