Step-by-Step Progesterone-in-Oil Injection Tips {to Make Them a LITTLE Less Miserable}

Progesterone in Oil Injection Tips

Raise your hand if you’ve been personally victimized by a progesterone in oil injection:

Raise your hand if you've been personally victimized by progesterone in oil | progesterone in oil injection tips

Um, YES.

Of all the tortures infertility brings – estrogen patches, clomid, metformin, twice daily stim injections, ultrasounds upon ultrasounds, daily blood draws – progesterone in oil is the ultimate torturer. The worst of the worst. The Bastard-King Joffrey.

(For my non-Game of Thrones fans, just trust me, he was the worst.)

Some are ~lucky~ enough to get to use progesterone in suppository form, like I was with my first transfer.

(If you consider paying upwards of $50/day and having cement-like discharge for 3 months “lucky,” that is.)

However, most are blessed with the opportunity to stab ourselves in the butt daily with the world’s largest needle.

Step-by-step Progesterone in Oil injection tips to make it a little less painful!

When I talk about my IVF journey with fertile bitches–er, I mean, friends & family–they almost always tell me they could just never give themselves shots when I get to the 3 times a day stim injections. And I’ve always insisted:

Oh the shots are no big deal! They’re almost the easiest part. The needles are tiny and they just go right into your belly fat, you barely even feel them.

But then, with my Frozen Embryo Transfer in 2017, I was introduced to the joys of progesterone in oil, or PIO. And I had to eat my words.

Not only do these bad boys require a massive needle, but they have to be injected straight into the muscle. No belly fat buffer. Straight-up GLUTE.

And the liquid you’re shooting into this big, tough muscle? It’s thick. And cold. It’s like trying to push marmalade into a tree trunk. With a needle.

And then after what feels like a lifetime, when the injection is complete, the muscle tenses up and acts like you just did 100 lunges (except with none of the benefits).

And then you do it again the next night. And the next. And the next. For three months, if you’re lucky and you get knocked up. So you can imagine how it feels to walk (or sit, or stand, or God forbid, actually work out) after a week or so of this torture.

But never fear – I’m here to help! I amassed some lifesaving progesterone in oil tips and tricks throughout my three-month reign of PIO-terror. I won’t pretend they make the experience pleasant or completely painless, but I can guarantee they’ll make it ~less awful.~

(Set the bar low, right?)

Give this step-by-step approach a try and let me know what you think!

1. Take your PIO vial out of the fridge, and stick it in your bra. (I know, you think I’m crazy! But trust me, your body heat will warm it up and make it flow a little bit easier out of the syringe.)

2. Meanwhile, grab an ice pack out of the freezer, and stick it in your pants over the injection site.

(I promise there’s more to this process than just making yourself cold enough to not notice the injection.)

3. Stick your heating pad in the microwave. You’re going to want it ready for right after the injection.

(Wild temperature swings, I know!)

4. Put on your wannabe-nurse hat, and get your supplies ready: grab your alcohol wipe, cotton swab, and your needles ready.

5. Roll the vial in your hand for a few seconds to really work the liquid around and warm it up. Then draw out the correct amount of PIO, and switch to the injection needle.

(Don’t forget to swap the needles! The thicker one is for drawing out the progesterone, and the thinner one is for injecting it.)

6. It’s almost go time. Lay down on the couch or bed, on your stomach. Your goal is to keep that butt muscle as relaxed as possible, so you don’t want your weight on it.

7. Prep the injection site: remove the ice pack, wipe the spot with the alcohol wipe, and take a deep breath. Get your phone ready with some kind of distraction – Instagram, Pinterest, whatever… just go to your mental happy place.

8. Have your partner (whoever is actually doing the injection) count down from three – this may hurt some more than it helps, but for me, it helped me to consciously relax the muscle. 3… {breathe in} 2… {breathe out} 1…

9. STICK! Tell your partner not to be scared – you really do have to go all-in with a swift and dart-like motion, just like the instructions say. Trust me, I tried it slowly, and it is way. way. worse. Do your best to zone out! It takes a long time, so just breathe through it.

10. Immediately after removing the syringe, have your partner press the cotton swab hard on the site, and massage it around. You want to disperse the liquid throughout the muscle.

11. Grab your heating pad, and sit on it. If your injection is at night (we did ours at 8:00 every night), take your excuse to plant yourself on the couch on top of that heating pad until bedtime.

And there you have it! Your lower back / upper butt will still be a bruised and beaten up mess, but at least it’ll be tolerable. It really does get easier after a couple weeks – or maybe you just get used to it. Either way, you got this.

Let me know if these progesterone in oil tips worked for you, and if you’ve picked up any tricks of your own!

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Step-by-step progesterone in oil injection tips! Click to read the full post with detailed instructions to minimizing pain and making the shots as easy as possible.


  1. Praying for you that this goes well!!!! It truly sounds like torture, but I know the end results can be SO worth it. Believing with you for yours!!

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