What Are Subcutaneous Injections?

What are subcutaneous injections, and how can they help me get pregnant?
ByLaurence A. Jacobs, MD, reproductive endocrinologist, Fertility Centers of Illinois
Fertility Specialist
Jan 2017
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If you are visiting a fertility specialist, you’ll very likely become intimately familiar with subcutaneous (or sub-Q, for short) injections. These shots are administered in the fatty layer of tissue just beneath the skin. Blood vessels course their way through this tissue, which makes it easy for medications to reach their ultimate destinations and do their job. Almost all of the medications required for fertility assistance are taken subcutaneously. The good news is that the needle required is very small, so the shots feel like nothing more than a small pinprick.

Sub-Q shots are also easier to give to yourself, so you don’t have to drag your partner or con a friend into helping you out. Typically the shots are taken in the belly or upper thigh, where (truth be told) most of us have the greatest amount of easily accessed fatty tissue. A few fertility meds are administered as intramuscular injections — injected into the muscle — which require a bigger needle (and maybe a bit more courage).

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