Understanding Needles and Syringes for Fertility Treatments

by | Oct 15, 2012 | Health Care

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If you are suffering from infertility and are seeking help from a reproductive endocrinologist, chances are the medication that is prescribed for you comes in injectable form. Because injectable medications come with a large number of special instructions and requirements, it can be overwhelming for the patient undergoing the fertility treatments. In order to take some of the stress out of the entire process, it helps to learn the language of needles and syringes, as well as the various types of injections you might have to give yourself during your treatment.


When you are prescribed fertility medications, there will be an amount you are supposed to inject yourself with on a daily or weekly basis. It is important to understand how to read the syringes to determine that you are using the correct amount of medication for optimal results. Each syringe measures in cubic centimeters, otherwise known as cc. There are various sizes you can purchase; read the instructions on your medications carefully before purchasing your supplies to make sure you are purchasing the proper size equipment.


There are two types of injections: subcutaneous and intramuscular. The subcutaneous injections simply go under the first layer of fatty tissue. The needle required for these injections is quite small, and the injections are simple to perform on yourself or your partner. Intramuscular injections have to pass through the fatty tissue and into the first layer of muscle. The needles required for these injections are much longer and thicker to get to the area of the body they are supposed to be in.

Needle Size

The type of medication and the size of the syringes does not have a bearing on the size of the needle you need. The type of injection your fertility medication requires will determine the needle size you need. Subcutaneous injections require a shorter needle because they do not have to go far under the skin and they do not have to be thick. In order to choose the right needle, you need to find out the length measured in inches and the gauge, which is the thickness of the needle. When you purchase needles, the gauge will be listed first and the length last. The higher the gauge, the thinner the needle is. If you have to give yourself intramuscular injections, you will need a thicker gauge and a longer needle than you would need for a subcutaneous injection.