In my days working as a nurse, I gave countless injections, handled IV’s, and drew blood on a regular basis. What I didn’t do, was self-injections, until I started using weight loss injectables. I will be perfectly honest here: I wasn’t keen on the idea.
It took more than a handful of times before I was comfortable with self-injection. Luckily, I already knew a few tricks from nursing, that made the process much easier and more comfortable. I’m happy to share these with you here.
Disclaimer: These are just a few tips to help you out. While I am a nurse and have a background in medicine, it is still important to follow the directions your physician provides, as they will know your particular medication, supplies and personal medical background.
HOW TO INJECT WITH HCG USING SUBCUTANEOUS AND INTRAMUSCULAR INJECTION TECHNIQUES.
What you will need:
- One alcohol wipe.
- Vial containing the injectable medication.
- The correct size needle and syringe
- You may want to use gloves for your protection or for the protection of the person getting the injection.
- You will need a Sharps Container for safe discard of all needles. If you do not have a Sharps container, most states will allow you to use similar laundry detergent containers. They MUST be marked appropriately and discarded at an appropriate location. You can read more about this here: FDA on Safe Discard of Sharps Containers.
Tips to Ease the Discomfort of Injections
I know this post is from several weeks ago, but I thought I would offer a few tips here, since I once too, was queasy at the thought of shots. It doesn’t both me a bit now, but I also know how to avoid unnecessary injection pain.
- First… let the alcohol dry! This is almost always the reason for any real pain when taking Hcg injections. Let it dry naturally (don’t blow on it- that puts germs on the site and you don’t want that) then inject.
- Don’t inject cold liquid. Draw the Hcg (or B12, or Lipotropics etc) and leave it out for a bit or hold it in your hands for a while to bring it to room temperature, rather than injecting it chilled. Injecting cold liquid can be painful & more difficult.
- Relax the area you are about to inject in; and don’t tense up.
- Go in fast. Don’t insert the needle slowly. The better option is to go in quick, inject slow, then pull out straight and fast.
- Find the spot that is least sensitive for you. I tend to prefer the upper back hip area, however I have recently started switching to the abdomen.
- Subcutaneous injections are less painful than intramuscular, but do follow your physicians directions here.
- Ice or numb cream (you can buy this on Amazon or at your local drugstore; CVS etc.) Both are options to numb the area before injecting. With the numb cream; you can apply this for up to an hour beforehand and just leave it. Wipe it off, then alcohol the area and allow to dry naturally before injecting.
- For abdominal injections: touch the needle gently to your skin (post-alcohol of course.) If you feel pain, move to another spot. This is a handy tip most diabetics learn quickly on; it helps you to avoid sensitive nerve areas.
- The slap approach. This works for some people and it may be worth a try. Alcohol the area, and your hand. Once dry, give the area a quick, sharp slap to confuse the nerves, then inject quickly. I’ve had patients request this approach. It’s worth a try if you are really sensitive.
- Last but not least… take comfort knowing it doesn’t take long before this becomes 2nd nature. It takes me a few seconds to prepare and inject a shot now and most people will tell you the same. I think tweezing my eyebrows is more painful than taking an Hcg or lipotropic injection now, and the entire injection process is somewhat of an automated afterthought before you know it.
Where to Inject: Appropriate Injection Sites
- Upper Arm: Have the person getting the shot stand with hand on hip. Uncover the arm to the shoulder to see the whole arm, (not tight – don’t slow circulation.) Stand next to and a little behind the person. Find the area in the middle part of the arm, halfway between the elbow and shoulder. Gently grasp the skin at the back of the arm between your thumb and first 2 fingers. You should have 1-2 inches of skin. This is the appropriate upper arm injection site.
- Abdomen: Uncover the abdomen to see the whole area. Find the waist area. You may give a shot bounded by these landmarks: below the waist, to just above the hip bone, and from where the body curves at the side to about 2 inches from the middle of the abdomen. Use the natural line in the middle of the body as a marker. It may be hard to see, but it is there unless it was covered by surgery. Avoid the surrounding area 2 inches from the belly button. This is the appropriate abdomen injection site.
- Thigh: Uncover the entire leg. Find the area between the knee and hip. The middle of the thigh, from mid-front to mid-side, on the outside part of the thigh is a safe site. Gently grasp the area to make sure you can pinch 1-2 inches of skin. This is the appropriate thigh injection site.
Please read the section all the way through before giving the shot. It is important to get a general idea of what you are about to do before you begin. You may read this step-by-step procedure again as you do it.
If you will give the shot at a 90 degree angle, hold the syringe with your writing hand. Hold the syringe under your thumb and first finger. Let the barrel of the syringe rest on your second finger. (Many people hold a pen this way when they write)
Grasp the skin with the hand not holding the syringe. Holding the syringe barrel tightly with your writing hand, use your wrist to insert the needle through the skin. Sometimes the needle goes in easily. Some people have tougher skin and a little more pressure or quickness will be required.
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and dry them completely. Open the foil covering the alcohol wipe.
Wipe the area where you plan to give the shot. Let the area dry.
Take the cover off the needle. Hold the syringe with your writing hand and pull the cover off with your other hand, like taking a cap off a pen.
If you will give the shot at a 45 degree angle, hold the syringe with your writing hand. Place the syringe between your thumb and your index and second fingers. The needle should be pointing upwards or downwards at the 45 degree angle you plan to use.
Once the needle is all the way in, push the plunger down slowly to inject the syringe’s contents. Remove the needle at the same angle you put it in.
Dispose of the syringe and needle in the sharps container.
Video Instruction below: Intramuscular and Subcutaneous Injection Instructions.
Best Tips for Self Injection: Appropriate sites for subcutaneous injections
There are several sites on your body that are appropriate for sub cutaneous (sub q) hCG injections. They are the upper outer arm, the hip, the abdomen, and the thigh. Only three of these really apply for the person performing self injections; the abdomen and the thigh. Most find using the hip and upper arm too tricky to do on their own.
When using the abdomen, measure 3 finger widths on either side of your belly button and inject there. Do not inject any closer to the belly button than that measurement, but you can go a little further away if you desire.
When using the top of your thigh, measure upward from the knee about the width of your hand, and downward from the top of your leg about the width of your hand. The area between those measurements can be used for a sub q injection. Stick to the top part of the thigh because the inner thigh tends to bruise more, and the outer thigh contains more nerves.
Preparing for your hCG Diet Shot
There is no particular “best time” to take your shot, but it is recommended that you take it at the same time each day. To help with this, you can choose a time that you already have a set routine and incorporate your injection into that time. For example, first thing in the morning, prepare your injection and leave it out to become room temperature. Take your shower and get ready for your day, then proceed with your injection as a part of that routine.
- Thoroughly wash and dry your hands before handling your supplies. Have all of your injection supplies organized so you can grab and inject without much thought about it.
- Gently swirl or roll the HCG vial slowly between your palms to assure the solution is evenly mixed. Do not shake the vial.
- Wipe off the top of the vial with an alcohol pad.
- Draw back your syringe to the dosage you are using, for example, a 30 on the syringe, pulling air into the barrel.
- Pierce the HCG vial and inject the air into the vial. Pick up the vial and hold it upside down in one hand, while using the other hand to slowly draw back on the syringe and fill to the 30 mark with liquid.
- Draw slowly, because the needle is tiny and the fluid takes time to pass into the barrel of the syringe. Once filled, there may be a tiny air bubble in the solution, so make sure you draw the correct dose, taking into account, the air bubble. Make sure you have the correct amount in the syringe for your dose. To do this, you may need to draw more than 30 and then gently tap the air bubble to make it rise upward toward the needle, then gently push the bubble out.
Use the second alcohol pad to wipe the skin in the area of your shot. Remember to allow the site to dry completely, without waving or blowing on it. Injecting through wet alcohol will sting, so be patient.
HCG Diet injection technique
Take a deep breath, and don’t hold your breath while doing your injection.
It is very rare that an individual feels much discomfort from the small needle used for this process. However, if you are not experienced at injecting yourself and worried you will get queasy, it best to sit down for the first few times you do this. That way if you get dizzy, you can quickly drop your head between your knees. After you’ve done 2 or 3 injections, you can probably stand, talk on the phone, do whatever you like. It really will become easy with practice.
You can either go straight in, or with clean fingers, gently gather the skin and fat in the area you cleaned with the alcohol pad. Don’t pinch it tight. If you pinch it tightly, there is no room in the tissue for the fluid you are injecting, so your shot will sting more, you are more likely to bruise, and the HCG will probably seep back out.
Insert the needle into the gathered tissue. You can either insert quickly with a quick flick of your wrist, or place the needle on the skin and gently push it in. Either technique is fine. If you feel a sharp burning, adjust your needle location by backing out a very tiny bit.
Inject by depressing the plunger VERY SLOWLY. Try counting to 5 slowly while injecting. This will give you a good gauge of what a slow injection should be.
When done, pull the needle straight out, dispose in a syringe disposal unit (available at any drug store) and apply gentle pressure with the alcohol pad to the site. Do not rub, or press heavily on the site. If a small amount of bleeding occurs, continue to hold gentle pressure until it stops.
Bruising, tingling, redness, pain on injection…why do they occur and what to do about them. Even following all of the steps above correctly, you will probably experience some or even all of these. They are annoying, but common and nothing to be alarmed about. So don’t get discouraged if they occasionally happen to you too.
Bruising from hCG Diet Injections
Bruising means you got too close to a small blood vessel, or even went through it with the injection needle. They will fade and go away just like any other bruise you’ve gotten in the past. If you notice bleeding when you pull your needle out, you will probably get a tiny bruise. Apply pressure gently until the bleeding stops. If you don’t apply pressure, you might get a small lump in addition to the bruise…this is called a hematoma, or collection of blood under the skin. It will dissolve and go away in a few days.
Tingling, redness, pain on injection site. Just as with bruising, you will probably experience some of these even with perfect injection technique.
You can experience all of these if you get too close to a little nerve. There is no way to know where these nerves lie under your skin ahead of time. Generally, injecting in the areas outlined above in the appropriate injection sites section will keep you away from major nerves. Redness can also be due to the alcohol you used to rub the site with. And if you have fair skin, you are more likely to have some redness too.
All these reactions should go away within several minutes. If they don’t, you can apply some ice to the area and see if that helps.
If you consistently have pain on injection, or are very anxious about self injecting, you can try numbing the area with an ice cube first. Be careful not to overly cool the skin.
Always remember to see a doctor if there is persistent redness, swelling, heat, pain or signs of infection are present.
Should you still have questions about hCG Diet Injections and other shots, please feel free to ask in the hCG Diet Forums.