Progesterone injections need careful administration because they might graze a nerve if you’re not careful or don’t follow the instructions carefully. There could be symptoms like numbness in an arm or leg at the injection site. Treatments include administering the next doses of the injections carefully or using noninvasive treatments like pain relievers and physical therapy. Sometimes, the side effects of these injections can also be confused with nerve damage signs, but these are only side effects that should go away soon. In rare cases, a person might experience severe side effects, in which case refer to your doctor if the symptoms become unbearable.
Women planning a baby through in vitro fertilization (IVF) must take daily progesterone injections for 6-8 days. But, self-administration can be tricky, for you need to be careful when and where you’re inserting the needle and giving the injection.
You have to avoid significant nerves, but in the beginning, some people might make a few mistakes or not follow the instructions correctly, resulting in possible nerve damage.
Let’s look at the possibilities of nerve damage, signs to look out for, and what you can do to rectify the problem!
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Progesterone injections 101
When trying for IVF, progesterone injections are needed to help prepare the body for pregnancy if the body isn’t making enough of it.
This sex hormone is abundant naturally for someone trying to get pregnant and helps maintain a pregnancy.
This injection restores normal menstrual periods that have stopped for several months or is used in the IVF treatment to help with the pregnancy and is given to the muscle as directed by the doctor.
Progesterone hormone is usually compounded in sesame oil, so administrating the injection and its storage is vital to ensure you’re doing your best.
Progesterone injection and nerve damage
Progesterone injection needs careful administration. There’s a chance of grazing sciatic nerve, which can make the woman feel weird symptoms and signs.
Nerve damage or possible nerve damage can have the following signs to watch out for:
- Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
- Feeling like you’re wearing a tight glove or sock
- Muscle weakness, especially in the arms or legs
- Regularly dropping objects that you’re holding
- Sharp pains in your hands, arms, legs, or feet
- A buzzing sensation that feels like a mild electric shock
Usually, a woman might feel numbness or radiating pain, but others might have different signs of the injection grazing the nerve.
How to treat nerve damage from progesterone injection?
When people aren’t used to administering the progesterone injection, it can take a few wrongs to get it right.
Sometimes, the person giving the injection is nervous and might not recognize or follow the instructions properly.
But that doesn’t mean all is lost, or you have to worry about permanently damaging your nerves.
All you need to do is follow the instructions from the next injection onwards and find the right spot to give the injection.
If you recognize a few symptoms of possible nerve damage, acting on it quickly can lead to a faster recovery. Immediately contact your doctor, and they’ll examine for possible nerve damage.
If there’s real damage, it’ll be treated using drug treatment of pain, physiotherapy, use of assistive devices, and surgical exploration.
Finding the right spot for progesterone injection
Anyone administering the injection for the first time they’re allowed to see how to give the injection the right way and told the instructions in detail.
The injection is given in the upper outer quadrant of the hip, but if there’s difficulty in finding the right spot, you can always draw an imaginary vertical line down the middle of each buttock.
Draw a second horizontal line at the level of the gluteal cleft to create four boxes. The injection should go in the upper outer box. After each injection, alternate sides between left and right hips.
Helpful tips for progesterone injection
Here’re some helpful tips to make the progesterone injection process easier for anyone.
Following these tips will make the process easier for the person giving the injection and the person receiving it.
- Keep the oil in a warm place, not in the refrigerator. The oil can become thicker in the cold environment, making it difficult to draw up or inject.
- Before injecting, change the needle after drawing the medication into the syringe. A sharp, fresh needle will make the injection more precise and less painful.
- This injection is injected in the buttocks, arm, or thigh, so whichever area you’re giving it to, use ice to numb the skin a little before cleaning it with alcohol.
- Don’t forget to rotate the places of injection sites. If you keep inserting the injection at the same site, it will become extremely sore and painful for the person receiving it and can lead to tissue damage.
- Gently feel the muscles before injecting. If not done carefully, it can lead to another issue in the muscle known as panniculitis. It causes small knots or bumps as progesterone in oil can accumulate in the muscle. The injection shouldn’t be given in one of these bumps; it should be at least an inch away from a knot to avoid pain and help the absorption of progesterone.
Side effects of progesterone injection
Progesterone injections can also have side effects some might not be familiar with as not everyone experiences them or all of them.
Sometimes one can even confuse these side effects as nerve damage signs even when it’s not.
These are common side effects:
- Pain or swelling at the injection site
- Breast tenderness
- Weight gain/loss
- Increased body/facial hair
- Loss of scalp hair
Even if you experience these side effects, know that your healthcare provider has recommended progesterone injections only after knowing they suit you. If you’re experiencing a side effect, just wait a while and see if it goes away.
If the signs don’t go away and become severe, then you need to take a look at the list of possible serious side effects which only happen in rare cases:
- Unusual vaginal bleeding/discharge
- Stopped menstrual periods
- Breast lumps
- Swelling of the ankles/feet
- Mental/mood changes like depression, nervousness
- Dark patches on the skin/face
- Frequent/painful urination
- Dark urine
- Yellowing skin/eyes
- Stomach/abdominal pain
- Persistent nausea/vomiting
It may even cause rare blood clots; in that case, look out for the following symptoms:
- Chest/jaw/left arm pain
- Weakness on one side of the body
- Trouble speaking
- Vision changes
- Pain/redness/swellings of arms or legs
- Trouble breathing
- Sudden severe headache
There could also be a rare allergic reaction where it helps to notice the signs such as rash, itching/swelling of the face, tongue or throat, severe dizziness, trouble breathing, and fever.
How to treat nerve damage from progesterone injection?
For people administrating progesterone injection for the first time, it can be tricky to place the injection at the right site correctly all in one go. They might graze the nerve, which can feel like the injection has been given, but that’s rarely the case.
Usually, when you give the other injection, give it the right way on another spot, and all kinds of weird sensations from the injection before will go away on their own.
Even if you’re worried the injection is wrong, you can visit your doctor, who’ll examine to see if that’s the case.
Treating nerve damage from injection includes drug treatment of pain, physiotherapy, use of assistive devices and surgical exploration.
Early recognition of this injury and appropriate management can help reduce the damage and maximize recovery.
What happens when an injection hits a nerve?
An injection injected below the deltoid muscle can hit the radial nerve, and injections inserted too far to the side of the deltoid muscle can hit the axillary nerve. If a nerve is hit, the patient will feel immediate burning pain, resulting in paralysis or neuropathy that doesn’t always resolve.
Therefore, an injection hitting the nerve is quite rare, but there’s a possibility if it grazes a nerve.
Can IM injections cause nerve damage?
There’s a low possibility of IM injections causing nerve damage. An iatrogenic injury has been a common complication of this injection.
The sciatic nerve injury is another common nerve injury because of its large size, and the buttocks are a common place for these injections.
What does the beginning of nerve damage feel like?
Nerve damage may cause a loss of sensation or numbness in the fingertips. But an injection rarely gets injected in a nerve, and if it does, there’s a sharp burning sensation, and a person might become paralyzed.
In such cases, an injection might only graze the nerve.
Why is progesterone oil so painful?
While getting injected will always include a little pain, it shouldn’t be too painful of a process. If that’s the case, then you’re not following the instructions.
Sometimes, the oil in the progesterone injections can also accumulate in the muscle, causing small knots or bumps known as panniculitis.
When applying the injection, follow the instructions carefully and store the injections properly. Keeping oil injections can also change how the injection is used easily or not.
When undergoing IVF treatment, progesterone injections are essential to improve the odds of pregnancy by ensuring this hormone is abundant in the body.
The tricky thing is that these injections are self-administered and can be given in the buttocks, arms or stomach. If your doctor has recommended these injections to you, you must follow the instructions for giving these injections carefully.
Usually, the injection only grazes a nerve, and in only super rare cases does it affects the nerve. Simply giving the other injections in the right place can help solve any signs of nerve impact you might be experiencing.