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The Center for Fertility and Gynecology

Preparing for Egg Retrieval with the IVF Trigger Shot

By Michael Vermesh on November 15, 2019

Injecting a shotThere are various conditions that can affect male or female fertility and make it more difficult to conceive. Fortunately, at The Center for Fertility and Gynecology, our Los Angeles, CA, patients can find a wide range of fertility services to assist them in becoming a parent.

In vitro fertilization, or IVF, is one of the most popular fertility treatments because it can address multiple sources of infertility, including those that are unidentified. IVF is an assisted reproductive technology that takes place in several stages. An IVF trigger shot is an important part of the treatment process. Here we answer some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the IVF trigger shot.

What Is an IVF Trigger Shot?

An IVF trigger shot is an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG. This hormone triggers ovaries to mature so that they are ready to release eggs. The IVF trigger shot is different from the fertility medication that is likely to be used at the beginning of IVF treatment, for ovarian stimulation. This injection is taken just one time during IVF treatment, prior to the egg retrieval process.

When Do I Receive the IVF Trigger Shot?

The timing of the IVF trigger shot needs to be very precise. Our doctors will provide our Tarzana patients with explicit instructions regarding when the trigger shot should be administered. In most cases, the IVF trigger shot is administered 36 hours prior to the egg retrieval procedure.

Do I Give Myself the IVF Trigger Shot?

The IVF trigger shot can be administered by the patient, or have another person administer the shot for them. Since the trigger shot is given 36 hours prior to egg retrieval, the shot is often due at night, when our offices are not open. However, we provide explicit instructions for the injection process and are happy to walk through the process several times with our patients, until they feel comfortable enough to administer the shot themselves.

Are There Side Effects?

An IVF trigger shot contains a significant dose of hCG, and any hormonal changes have the potential to result in side effects. Fortunately, if patients do experience side effects after the IVF trigger shot, they should be mild. The most common side effect is redness or irritation at the injection site. Patients may also develop mild bloating or cramping, but they are likely to already be experiencing these symptoms as a result of other fertility drugs used in the IVF process.

What If I Miss My Trigger Shot?

Timing of the IVF trigger shot is crucial to a successful egg retrieval process. If a patient misses the IVF trigger shot, or if the shot is delayed by even an hour, they should report it to our doctors right away. In some cases, we may be able to delay the retrieval process to accommodate the missed trigger shot, but depending on the circumstances, we may need to wait for the woman’s next menstrual cycle and start the process again.

Contact Us

IVF has helped many patients conceive and it may be able to do the same for you. To get more information about the IVF process, contact our practice online to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors at The Center for Fertility and Gynecology.

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