See if you qualify for free egg freezing.
Photo of a leaf and a barely budding grapevine

Egg freezing is, undoubtedly, one of the most empowering journeys anyone with a uterus can embark on. One of the biggest reasons you’ll feel like you can conquer the world after an egg freezing cycle is also one of the least fun parts about it: the injections.

If you’ve already begun to explore freezing your eggs, you know that the process requires administering injectable medication shots. So a thorough understanding of how they work — and how to get through them all (mentally, emotionally, and physically) — is essential. This article aims to provide clinically-sourced tips to guide you through this crucial aspect of egg freezing.

Types of egg freezing shots and medications

At its core, egg freezing involves the use of injectable medications to stimulate the ovaries, promote egg development through maturity, and enhance the chances of a successful egg retrieval. What doctors — and you — are looking for is strong egg volume and quality, and certain medications are used to help you on the road to get there.

These medications fall into a few categories:

Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

FSH medications stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs.

Luteinizing Hormone (LH)

LH medications support the final maturation of eggs within the ovaries.

Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Agonists/Antagonists

These medications prevent premature ovulation, ensuring that eggs are retrieved at the optimal time.

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)

hCG triggers the final maturation of the eggs, preparing them for retrieval. Otherwise known as a “trigger shot,” this shot is timed right before your retrieval so they are at peak maturity (without ovulating, of course!).

The number of shots required varies among individuals, but it typically ranges from 10 to 20 injections over a period of 8 to 14 days. While the idea of injections may seem daunting, many individuals find the process totally manageable with proper guidance.

At Cofertility, all Freeze by Co members gain access to our free member community portal, where we share tons of egg freezing tutorial videos that walk you through the whole thing, step-by-step. You can also ask a partner, friend, or family member to help!

Do egg-freezing shots hurt?

The pain associated with egg freezing shots is subjective and varies among individuals. Most commonly, individuals report feeling a mild discomfort or a slight pinch during the injection. Here are some tips on managing egg freezing injections and making the process more comfortable, but you can dive into more here.

Tips for making injections painless

Utilize the right technique

Proper injection technique is crucial for minimizing pain. The angle and speed at which the needle is inserted, as well as the depth of injection, can impact the level of discomfort. Our videos in our community member portal provide a good, close look at the right technique and method of injection. If you have extra syringes, you can also practice injecting water on a peach or another fruit!

Ice the injection site

Applying an ice pack to the injection site for a few minutes before the injection can numb the area, making the process more comfortable.

Let medications reach room temperature

Allowing the medications to reach room temperature before injection can reduce the sensation of cold, making the process more comfortable. (Of course, you’ll want to read the packaging or talk to your doctor to make sure this is okay for your specific medication).

Take deep breaths

Practicing deep breathing exercises before and during the injection can help relax the muscles, making the process less painful.

Troubleshooting egg-freezing shots

Despite careful planning and execution, you may encounter some issues with egg freezing injections. It’s essential to be aware of potential challenges and know when to call your clinic.

Missed or incorrect dosages

Missing or administering an incorrect dosage can impact the efficacy of the egg freezing process. In case of a missed or potentially incorrect or missed dosage, it is crucial to contact your doctor immediately for guidance on the appropriate course of action. Most fertility clinics have on-call support that you can contact after hours if needed.

Injection site reactions

Some individuals may experience redness, swelling, or bruising at the injection site. These reactions are generally mild and temporary. However, persistent or severe reactions should be reported to your doctor for evaluation.

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) risks

OHSS is a potential (though low) risk of egg freezing, during which your ovaries can become overstimulated as a reaction to the fertility medication. If you experience symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, nausea, or shortness of breath, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention.

If you’re afraid of needles

We get it. Sometimes, even with the most support and the best resources, you just might not be able to get yourself there when it comes to needles — even if you really want to freeze your eggs. If this is the case, talk to your doctor about a protocol known as “mini IVF”.

Mini IVF is a newer, needle-free alternative to fertility injections, where fertility medication is given via capsule form instead. Often, mini IVF candidates include those who are at higher risk of developing OHSS or those who actually have lower ovarian reserves that may not be able to be helped much with injectable medications anyway.

If this is you, chat with your doctor to see if you’re a candidate for mini IVF and what kinds of results to expect.

Summing it up

Mastering the art of egg freezing involves meticulous attention to ordering, organizing, and administering injectable medication shots. We’ve got your back with tons more educational content and egg-freezing tips.

If this article’s got you feeling like you can conquer the world (10-14 days of egg-freezing injections? No sweat!), check out our Split program, where you can freeze your eggs for *free* when you donate half to another family who can’t conceive. By donating half of their frozen eggs to LGBTQ+ parents, those with infertility, or cancer survivors, participants in our Split program can make a meaningful impact for themselves and others. Apply for our Split program today.