Infertility and IVF: How To Use the Gonal-f Pen

Instructions on Using the Gonal F Injection Pen

An injection for IVF.
An injection for IVF. Science Photo Library/Getty Images

Follitropin alfa for injection (commonly known as the Gonal-f pen) is a type of medication used in fertility treatments to induce ovulation in women who have not been able to become pregnant due to problems with ovulation. It is a synthetic version of a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that helps stimulate egg development in the ovaries.

Follitropin alfa is also used by women undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF) to get pregnant.

The Gonal-f pen is preloaded with medication and comes ready to use, but the amount of medication given and the length of time it needs to be taken for will vary from person to person. Always refer to your fertility specialist for the recommended schedule of injections and dosage amount specific to you.

Using the pen is not difficult; however, it can be scary the first time.

How to use the Gonal-f Pen

The Gonal-f pen has a visual scale right on it that lets you confirm whether the precise dose you need is ready to inject. This reduces the chance of making any dosing errors. Even still, it is important to follow the instructions that come along with the Gonal-f pen exactly. Below is an overview of how to use a Gonal pen:

Difficulty Level: Easy

Time Required: 5 minutes

What You Need:

  • Your prescribed Gonal-f Pen (300IU, 450IU, or 900IU)
  • BD Micro Fine Needles
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Kleenex or Tissue
  • Bandaid if necessary
  • Sharps container
  • Medication journal
  • Dose prescribed by your doctor

11 Steps To Using the Gonal-f pen

  1. Gather and assemble everything you will need—a Gonal-f Pen, one needle, one alcohol wipe and one tissue.
  2. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  3. Swab the rubber stopper on the outside of the pen with an alcohol wipe. Allow to air dry.
  1. Remove the outer paper wrapper on the needle. Screw the needle onto the pen using a clockwise motion.
  2. Remove the outer needle shield.
  3. Dial the dose prescribed by your doctor by using the dial at the top of the pen to line up the dose with the arrow indicator.
  4. Pull on the dial in an outward motion until you hear the clicks and cannot pull the dial anymore.
  5. Swab the area you will be injecting with a second alcohol pad—the lower abdomen about an inch below the belly button or the front of the thigh about halfway down is preferable.
  6. Inject the needle and push the injection button (dial) at the top of the pen until it cannot be pushed in anymore. Keep needle in the skin for at least 5 seconds.
  7. Remove the needle from the skin.
  8. Using the pen, scoop up the outer needle shield and carefully cover the needle. Unscrew the needle and immediately dispose of it safely (preferably in a sharps container).

Tips:

  1. Keep a pen and paper with the injection pen. Record the dose each day that you use the pen and subtract from the total number of units on the pen to keep track of what's left.
  1. Inject the pen in a quick, dart-like motion to minimize the discomfort of injection.
  2. Store the pen in the refrigerator if you will be using it again.
  3. You should not share your Gonal-f pen or needles with another person as you may give another person an infection or get an infection from them.

Common Side Effects of the Gonal-f Pen

Some of the common side effects of the Gonal-f pen include (and are not limited to) the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Stomach pain
  • Stomach bloating
  • Bruising at the injection site
  • Nausea

Alert your doctor if you have any side effects, as the Gonal-f Pen can cause other serious side effects including ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), with or without lung or blood vessel problems.

Source:

IVF Worldwide. Gonal-f Pen. Accessed Feb 24, 2016.

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