Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What's the deal with the PIO?

WARNING: The following blog contains candid shots of a person giving themselves a shot. If needles make you queasy, wait until tomorrow's blog...there won't be any needles. ;)


I had someone email me through my blog here. This person asked me what the shots were like. I want the people who read my blog and are considering becoming a surrogate to have all the information they possibly can...that is part of the reason I created this blog. With these people in mind, I about to show you what a PIO shot is all about.

There are two kinds of shots you take as a surrogate. The first is Lupron. You would use an insulin needle, similar to the one pictured on the left.

This medication is a subcutaneous injection (meaning it goes just under the skin) and it shuts down the body's normal hormone production, thus pushing the surrogate into menopause (basically). This allows the doctor to further control the surrogate's cycle and begin to ensure the surro's uterus is ready for the transfer right when the doctor needs her to be ready.

Side effects include, but are not limited to, hot flashes, night sweats, headaches, weight gain and at least with me...acne.

The next shot is the PIO, or Progesterone In Oil. Or in my case PEO, as I have Progesterone in Ethyl Oleate. The Progesterone can come in all types of oil from Extra Virgin Olive Oil to Sesame Oil. You use the needle to the right.

This medication is an inter-muscular injection (just like it sounds, the needle goes into the muscle). You use the needle to the right to draw up the medication, then you switch to another needle with just a bit thinner. (It is, however, just as long.)

Then comes the fun part. Once you've drawn up the medication, you need to ice the area where you will be giving yourself the injection. Although there are many areas to give yourself the shot, the best area is the hip/bum.
^Yep, that's me giving myself the shot in the upper outer part of my butt cheek. When you give yourself the shot, with no help from others, you get to twist yourself into a pretzel, inject the needle at the proper angle, and then begin to push the medication in. Because it is in an oil, the medication is very thick, and takes a little bit to get it all in. One trick I have learned: While you are icing your bum, your heating pad should be warming up for you to sit on when you're done. After you draw up your medication, put the syringe under the heating pad. This will warm the medication, making it easier to inject.
Once you've given yourself the shot, rub the area. This will help massage the oil into the muscle. After a minute or so, sit on a heating pad. Again, this helps the muscle, and the oil, loosen up, allowing the muscle to absorb the meds easier.
That's pretty much it. Well, except for the knots in the muscle from continuous injections, then the pain when sitting, walking...moving...but other then that, it's not that bad. You just keep reminding yourself why you're doing this. Every time I do this, I think of G & K holding their brand new baby. I think of the smile on their faces when they get to see their child for the first time. And I think of G's voice when she called me this morning to tell me she got the pictures of the positives I sent.
Then, well, then it's all worth it.


Jenifer said...

I shudder.... I "think" I could do it if I had to, but the clinic I am working with will be using suppositories only. I can't say I am saddened by that fact!

caynenmama said...

My name is clarissa, I am in the final stages of the application process, my profile will be done in a couple days. You talk about the shots, you make them sound horrible....my question for you is...would you do it again?? my email is caynenmama@aol.com please send me your answer and any other info you wish you had known before hand.