Prior to Starting a Regimen of Infertility Drugs
- Ask your doctor about the advantages and disadvantages of taking a generic version of the infertility drugs you are prescribed.
- Be clear as to the proper dosage prescribed to you during each cycle.
- Extreme temperatures can affect a medication’s potency, so do not store your medicine in overly hot or cold conditions.
- Look for the expiration date on each infertility medication.
- Make sure you are aware of how much diluent to add when mixing intramuscular injection drugs. If you need to use additional glass containers, or ampules, in order to dose your medicine, it is crucial to be sure of the diluent amount you must use.
- Mention all prescription drugs that you take to your physician in order to avoid dangerous interactions.
- Share your medical history with your physician, especially if ovarian or breast cancer runs in your family. The aforementioned conditions may carry certain risk factors for those who take infertility medication.
- Talk to your doctor about whether oral medications need to be taken with or without food.
Buying and Sharing Medication
Bringing foreign infertility drugs into the U.S. is illegal. Some drugs that are bought or manufactured in other countries come at a cheaper price; however, they may not be FDA approved. Imported drugs are not overseen by the FDA, so the organization cannot declare a recall on them if certain batches are defective or contaminated. Your local FDA office or the organization’s Division of Import Operations can answer any questions about the rules and regulations in regards to importing consumer-use medications.
While it may be tempting to share unopened, unused ampules or bottles of drugs to a family member or friend, think about the potential liability you could face if that person experiences an adverse reaction to said medication. If you have any unopened medications you no longer want, take them to your fertility doctor’s office, so the office can properly dispose of them.
Once You Begin Taking Infertility Medications
- Always contact your doctor if you experience any side effects from your medication.
- Ask your physician if he or a nurse at his office can demonstrate the correct way to give yourself an intramuscular or subcutaneous injection.
- Avoid using tampons while taking a vaginal suppository because the material of which tampons are made can absorb the medicine.
- Consult with your physician before doubling up the following dosage in the event you miss a dose.
Proper Intramuscular Injection Techniques
Before giving yourself an injection, chill the skin with an ice cube or cold cloth. After you inject yourself, gently rub the site with a warm washcloth to facilitate the absorption of the medication.
If you plunge the injection in the wrong place on your buttock, you run the risk of sciatic nerve irritation. Therefore, inject yourself in the outer, upper buttock quadrant. Ask the doctor or nurse to mark the ideal injection sites on your skin. Be sure to switch sites for each injection.
Prior to giving yourself an intramuscular injection, slightly pull back the plunger. If the needle accidentally makes contact with a vein and you see blood in the syringe, refrain from injecting the medication. Instead, remove and change the needle, disinfect the jab site with a new swab, pull the plunger back and reattempt the injection.
Although you should alternate the injection areas, allow any site that is warm and painful to the touch to rest for a couple of days. Contact your doctor right away if you see red streaks on or near the injection site. Red streaking is a sign of serious inflammation in the area local to the injection site.