In which I suddenly come to understand exactly why these PIO shots are so much of a PITA

Those of you who were reading during my pregnancy with E. will remember that I had to switch from the PIO shots to the progesterone pills/suppositories combo after I developed a severe allergic reaction (read: full body hives) at the six week mark.

When we resumed PIO shots with the FET this past September, I reminded my f/s of my reaction and he immediately told me I could only use the castor oil vials.

I grumbled and grimaced and gritted my teeth all through the PIO shots for that FET, and the PIO shots for the next one. But, no matter what Q. did, they almost always HURT. And sometimes they hurt a lot.

Then we started stimming for the IVF, and both Q. and I were taken aback by how easy the stim injections were. The needle didn’t hurt as much! Q. didn’t have to practically force the medication into my body!

The first night we started the PIO shots again after the retrieval I pulled out a needle and got it all set up. Q. jabbed me, struggled for a while, and then said he had to pull it out and try again. “I just can’t get it to go in,” he told me. He pulled it out, we changed needles and then he tried again. It took a practically superhuman effort to force the oil in.

“It’s always hard to do that,” he said. “But this is much harder than last time.”

I dug out my instructions. We were using a 25 G needle, the pink and orange one, just like the instructions said.

Then I remembered that my other packages of needles (we had a LOT of needles kicking around the house by this stage) were clearly labelled, “Castor Oil Needles”.

So I went and got them and discovered that we’re supposed to be using 22 G needles with the castor oil. I got mixed up this time because we had the other type in the house from stimming.

The other day curiosity got the better of me and I got out my camera. We used the 25 G needles for stimming and for all the PIO shots we did in 2009/2010. We’ve been using the 22 G needles for all the PIO shots with our 2.0 TTC efforts.

This is the 18 G needle I use to draw out the oil:


And this is the 22 G needle we’ve been using these past few months:


And this is the 25 G needle I would still be using if I hadn’t developed that allergic reaction.


And, just to drive the point home, here’s the 25 G (top) and 22 G (bottom) side by side.


No wonder it hurts so much this time around! That’s a huge difference!


Filed under 2.0 Pregnancy, Medical issues, Medications

5 responses to “In which I suddenly come to understand exactly why these PIO shots are so much of a PITA

  1. Oh my gosh I can’t believe you survived that! We have the big ones to draw up the drugs, but then switch to the smaller one for the injection! I can’t believe you made it through that!!

  2. yikes!! My tummy just got queasy! Saying prayers for ya during this time girlie!!

  3. Oh how I hate the PIO. Hate. The PIO. The globs of Crinone squirting out between your legs at random times of the day were nothing compared to the PIO shot misery (this FET is our first experience with these shots for me and my queasy hubs). We’ve had it all — hit a nerve, hit a blood vessel, had blood squirting across the bathroom after removing it. Good times.

  4. Yeah, it’s so horrible. Just so, so bad. Ugh.

  5. My body hurts just thinking about it! Going to do another FET in a few months…I better get ready.
    Stopped by from Creme de la Creme and can’t wait to follow and read more. Best of luck!

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