woman suffering from side effects after using ovidrel image

A number of medications are used to restore a woman’s infertility. Some are swallowed, applied, inserted via the vaginal or injected. Many treatment aims to trigger ovulation or aid reproduction in a number of ways. After a lengthy discussion with your fertility specialist, you have decided to go Ovidrel shots. The mere thoughts of injections make you nervous. Although the injections are uncomfortable and unpleasant, with time you will get used to the injections. Inquire from the doctor, if the hospital has a class to learn to administer and their benefits. You can experience Ovidrel side effects as you use the medication.

What is Ovidrel?

The drug contains HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) hormone that triggers the development of eggs and ovulation. It is used in ART (assisted reproduction technology) like IVF to cause ovulation approximately 36 hours prior insemination or egg retrieval; this is when you can experience unwanted effects of Ovidrel. This medication is used together with FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) hormone to aid healthy ovaries to make eggs. The drug comes in a pre-filled syringe which is injected a day after your last dose of FSH. You can store the prefilled syringes in the refrigerator or at room temperature for 30 days. Inform the fertility expert of the supplements and all the drugs you use to prevent the negative effects from deteriorating.

How to Use

Are you eager to give yourself the shots, but not sure how to go about it? Below is step by step guideline to follow when injecting Ovidrel at home:

  1. Wash hands thoroughly to avoid infection
  2. Choose the site for the injection, preferably two inches from the belly bottom
  3. Sterilize the area by wiping the area with an alcohol swap
  4. Remove the syringe from the box and pull out the cap
  5. Hold the syringe with the needle pointing up. There will be some air bubbles noticeable in the fluid, especially on top
  6. Press the plunger to remove the air bubbles. The fluid replaces the space that was occupied by the air bubbles but don’t waste a lot of fluid
  7. Sit, pinch some fat on the area you have selected and inject Ovidrel
  8. Pull out the needle gently and discard it, you can put in a container with a lid to prevent someone being pricked or cut. You can request the doctor where you can get such a container.
  9. Put a gauze on the injected area if bleeding

If you don’t understand the above procedure or to discard used needles as well as syringes, it is better to visit the clinic and let a nurse or the doctor do it. If you are scared to stick a needle on your own body, you may request your spouse or a friend to give the shot (they should know to give the shot). Almost every woman will experience the most common unwanted effects such as, pain, inflammation and bruising on the injected spot. These negative effects of Ovidrel injections will disappear after some few days and don’t require any medical attention. It is crucial to inspect the drug before injecting it; if the injectable solution seems to have particles or if it is not clear, don’t use it.

Side Effects

A box of Ovidrel

As you start getting the Ovidrel shots, you will experience negative effects. Once the body becomes used to the drug, the unwanted effects will disappear on their own. You will regularly visit the fertility expert to check your progress, take advantage of the meetings and ask questions about the drug unwanted effects.

The usual unwanted effects are:

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Mild abdominal pain
  • Headaches 
  • Restlessness 
  • Irritability
  • Water weight gain
  • Depression
  • Breast swelling or tenderness
  • Reaction on injection area such as pain, bruising, redness, swelling and irritation

Serious negative effects

If you become pregnant while on Ovidrel, stop the medication but inform your physician immediately. The shot should not be used during pregnancy because it may harm the fetus. If you detect signs of a blood clot, visit a health facility immediately. If you have a history of blood clots, make sure you tell the doctor in advance. What are signs of blood clots? They are:

  • Pain
  • Warmth
  • Redness
  • Numbness 
  • Severe headache

You can also experience major negative effects like Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). If you have OHSS, your ovaries are swollen as well as enlarged. OHSS is mainly mild but it can be fatal, though it is rare. If you have OHSS, you are at risk of fluid leaking into the abdomen, chest, and heart resulting in swelling and organ failure. It can be life threatening and have to call the fertility expert right away.

Symptoms of OHSS are:

  • Severe pain or swelling in the lower abdomen
  • Severe nausea, vomiting or diarrhea 
  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Urinating less than normal

Other unwanted effects that are unlikely to happen but can be severe are:

  • Sudden severe headache
  • Confusion
  • Weakness on one side of your body
  • Slurred speech
  • Sudden breathing difficulty
  • Double vision or loss of vision
  • Swelling of the hands, ankles, and feet

Are you asking yourself “how long do Ovidrel side effects last”? It depends on one person to another. But normally, the common unwanted effects will go away with time, For example, pain due to injection will ease with time plus redness and irritation. On the other hand, some side effects will be persistent, even after stopping the medication, such as OHSS. This medication may lead to a multiple pregnancy and you have to be prepared for it. A multiple pregnancy is a high-risk pregnancy because you can deliver prematurely, experience a miscarriage or deliver babies with low birth weight. Before begging the medication, ask your doctor about the risk and your chances of carrying the pregnancy to term.

These negative effects can make you fear using the drug. But with frequent visits to the doctor for close monitoring, calling your doctor in case of persistent and severe side effects of Ovidrel, informing the doctor of your medical history and other drugs you are on, can reduce the unwanted effects. Before you know it, Ovidrel will bring back your fertility.

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