And HERE Is Where My Luck Ends.

August 3, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Posted in another cycle! (aka: deja vu), The Community | 20 Comments

Heard from my nurse today, with my FET protocol.

We have done six fresh IVF cycles.

And (I think) 7 FETs.

In the past six and a half years, I have managed to cycle with a suppository form of progesterone. I hate crinone, but it wasn’t a shot in my ass, at any rate.

Well, New Clinic’s protocol for FETs?



I’m not going to argue this one, because everything my doctor has suggested has been backed up with data, and research.

And frankly, I TRUST her.

But OMG I’m kind of freaking out here.

Shots in my ASS, people! For 11 full days!

Please, give me your assvice (HA!!!! Pun totally intended) about PIO. What works best? Icing I’ve heard before the injection. Heat after?

All instruction/tips/advice totally welcomed.

Please tell me this isn’t going to be as bad as I think it’s going to be.

(And if it is? Don’t tell me that, mmkay? :))



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  1. I’d do PIO again, it wasn’t bad. (We did endometrin suppositories for the last set of cycles though, and that was better.)

    I recommend heat both before and after. And warming the vial of oil against your body before, too. It doesn’t hurt enough to bother with numbing (imo) and the oil going into the warm muscle seemed to flow better for me. I think now they the progesterone in … something else, and that’s thinner so you can use a smaller needle, too. Maybe worth asking.

    But for oil anyways – warm oil, warm butt, warm after, with massage and motion.

  2. I would definitely recommend warming the bottle before injection. I used ice before and then heat after. I used drew the medicine out of the bottle with one needle and then switched to a slightly less smaller (at least in my mind) needle …the idea being that the needle gets a little dulled by drawing out the medicine (i figured every little bit helps). My husband would always massage after. You can do it!

  3. You can put the bottle in your bra for a few minutes to warm the oil. I used EMLA cream before and a heating pad afterward. Because you’re athletic, you should be able to get a smaller needle (I think I got a 2.0 instead of 2.5) for the actual injection part. I was terrified of needles before our cycle and was still able to do the PIO for a few weeks and even showed off to my friends by doing an injection in front of them. I hope they’ve forgiven me… I had a reaction to the oil after a few weeks — I think it was sesame — OH! Be sure to tell them that your son has a nut allergy and ask for an alternate oil!

  4. Out of 12 or 13 transfers (fresh, DE, frozen), my only 2 successful cycles included PIO (in fact, my RE, who was involved in the clinical trials for Endometrin & switched 90% of his clients to it once it was approved by the FDA, has been migrating BACK to PIO). I did PIO for 14 wks w H & 11 wks with this pregnancy & wish the same upon you.

    First, you need to find the PIO that causes you the least injection site reaction. For me, ethyl oleate caused huge raised itchy red welts. Sesame oil, caused occassional bruising & soreness, but was my preferred type. Olive oil, which isn’t as commonly used is HIGHlY viscous & the hardest to inject.

    I found that icing for 10 mins prior followed by 3 mins of deep massage post injection was the ticket. I also tried using the heating pad which worked best with the olive oil but massaging it in was the best way for me to go (my husband did the injections & massage).

    What else will your protocol entail?

  5. My successful FET was my first time using PIO. Now, I have no issues with shots, as I am a cardiac patient who has seen her share of needles. That said, I had no issues with them at all. Frankly, I found that doing nothing before the shot, then massaging the spot immediately afterwards, combined with the occasional use of ice when I felt particularly sore was enough. Really, the massaging might be the one thing I really recommend. They are not that bad; I personally found that the hype was way worse than reality, and I can say that after having done them for over 16 weeks (my clinic had a VERY gradual weaning protocol).

  6. All good advice. My PIO turned out to actually be in ethyl oleate…I didn’t ask for it, that’s just how it came. My hubby was a rock star and gave the shots so quick I never even felt them. The key is moving fast when you inject, then slow when pushing down the plunger. I did get sore after a few weeks, but that was due to running out of places to inject (I bruise easiy). I actually preferred the shots over the messiness of the Endometrin.

  7. PIO is totally doable. I agree that you should use smaller needles (I did and it really helped), and push the plunger slowly. Warm the boytle in the heating pad, heat after and massage. I got lazy about the massage and ended up with big lumps in my tush that I thought would never go away (they eventually did) … But I was also on it for several months, so it’s no wonder. And I did all the injections myself — mind over matter : )

  8. It is more intimidating than it really is. Definitely worked with icing down the area to be injected. Warming afterward. And the advice about giving shots quick then slowly on the plunger. Totally do-able (if not the most fun–like suppositories were fun!) 🙂

  9. My wife and I could not have even one child. I search the web for site with people who we had it in common with. I am sick sick sick i repeat sick sick sick of coming across blogs thinking I found the right place only to be disappointed time and time again.
    First of all, let’s not be naive. Everybody knows that we often don’t start reading from a blog at exactly top of page 1. It’s usually more practical to start at the top of where we are interested.
    Me, a name you call yourself, 30-something accountant by day. By early morning and night? Runner chick, mother, blogger, cook. Gosh, sounds like a very fulfilling life to me, you had me reading on and on about your running, you made it sound like you had no children. You made it very unclear who Lucky was. And then you slowly told the truth. I think you were unclear on purpose. Giving hints little by little.
    People say that the primary infertiles get all the attention. I think I have come across more of this damn secondary crap than the former. Or those that succeeded having a child but still spilling the old dirty laundry onto those who never have and never will succeed. I am absolutely at the end of my rope with Circle of Moms, BabyBump or BumpWatch, Parenting this, Mommy that and the stupid idiotic articles , books and videos about Potty f—–g Training.


    • Geraldblahblahblah, maybe it’s because I’ve been reading Serenity for years, so I’m a bit biased, but there was no “slowly told the truth” or that she was “unclear on purpose”. Your failure to read more about Serenity before investing yourself emotionally into her cycles is not her fault; unfortunately that is yours. Also? If you had simply read her “About Me” page you would know who Lucky is. No one forces you to read about SIF. I’m sorry you have all this anger in you.

      • Geraldxxxxxx: I have one rule on this blog – commenters treat each other with respect. I empathize with you; hard to find a place where you fit in. (Please, go to and look at her blogroll. You WILL find someone there who is in the same situation you are.)

        I do not generally delete comments on my blog: I welcome a different opinion here; love to have discussion. I will, however, not tolerate pointing out individual bloggers and ridiculing them. It’s disrespectful, and I don’t want that sort of link in my space. That is why I deleted your response.

        Again, I am sorry you are in so much pain. Sending you peace.


  10. 11 days of PIO?? Pffft. I had to do over 60 consecutive days (I think…). I don’t know how many total after all our cycles.

    Don’t refrigerate the oil. I would first put the vial in my pocket (or bra) as I got close to when I was going to inject. After I had the syringe ready, I would put that in my bra for a couple of minutes to keep it warm.

    The needle won’t dull from just the one time drawing the oil. I wouldn’t change it as it increases your risk of contamination.

    Don’t ice the injection site. The cooler the oil, the less viscous it will become and that means the harder it will be to inject.

    Be patient during the actual injection. It’ll take several seconds to get the plunger all the way down. Apply more heat after to help thin the oil.

    Do NOT shove or jab the needle into your skin. Instead, just slowly push it it in. I know that that doesn’t sound comfortable but trust me on this. I discovered this trick after I had to learn to do it myself when my husband was out of town.

    I didn’t pull up the plunger when done either to check for blood like they suggest. That’s just more needle wiggling than necessary.

    You can do it. You can run miles and miles and feel good! I can’t run up a flight of stairs without stroking out. So if I was able to PIO, YOU can do PIO!

  11. I did these for two cycles and it wasn’t all that bad. Warm the oil by rubbing it in your palms. Ice the area for a bit before. Figure out a good system so you know exactly when the shot is coming. It’s not fun, but you’ll get through it.

  12. I’ve done SIX transfers with PIO (and then most of the first trimester of my preg too) — my RE has never offered any other option! Yes, warm the oil for sure. I found it helped to take my nightly hot shower right before the injection, too. Some cycles I also developed weird lumps over time, and found it helpful to use those Thermacare(?) disposable stick-on heat patches for a few hours after.

    You get used to it, is all I can say. Seeing how big that needle is, I always feel like a bit of a bad-ass, I must say, for being able to ‘take it’ 🙂

  13. Serenity,
    I was wondering what happened to my last post. Thank you for letting me know that it wasn’t because I forgot to send it. In terms of individual bloggers, are you referring to the link I posted? That it is generally bad etiquette to to ridicule other blogs even if they are unrelated to another one?

    • On my blog? Yes. There are all sorts of blogs, and all serve their purpose. Mine happens to be about my experience with both primary and secondary infertility. The link you posted is a woman with kids and a husband, a person like you and me, and I feel that it’s disrespectful to ridicule her because you disagree with her content. That’s her space and what she’s made of it.

    • Just me or is it kind of hilarious that someone has to ask if it ‘s “bad etiquette” to ” ridicule”?

      • So you don’t think that story in that blog was tacky? It seems like as long as someone has a child, all the respect in the world for them. And those with no success gets all the shit kicked in their faces. Good Bye.

  14. I had to go back and reread a couple of my posts to remember our PIO drill. For me, the key was to warm up the oil when it was already in the syringe (i.e. not just in the bottle), and for Q. to be super quick when getting the needle in (like he was throwing darts) and when he was pulling the needle out.

    I had terrible terrible hives with the sesame oil when I was pregnant with E., but that was my fourth (I think) cycle with PIO shots, so it took a while for the reaction to occur. We switched to a different oil and things were fine.

    I was never brave enough to do it myself, but Q. was amazing at them, and when he was away for a week during the pregnancy, I just went to the clinic and got a nurse to do them.


  15. Good luck with it! They don’t (didn’t?) do the injectible PIO in Australia so nothing but hopes that it doesn’t hurt.


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