Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I need to whine (heparin related)

Just let me complain for a minute, then I’ll stop. I have tried very hard to avoid posting about pregnancy related issues. There are many infertile women who read the blog and I know how painful it is when women “on the other side” complain about pregnancy, so I’ll keep this brief. Or, feel free to ignore. Trust me, I understand, and ((HUGS)).

The heparin injections are getting more difficult by the day. I can’t begin to tell you how many clothes have been ruined, money has been spent, and tears have been shed. My body has just about had it. During my last week in the U.S., I had finally run out of room on my stomach (or so I thought), and started injecting into my thighs. Upon my return to Dublin, my husband somehow found some remaining space on my stomach, so we are back to doing injections there.

Heparin stings, A LOT. It’s much worse than Clexane, Innohep, and Lovenox, or so I’ve been told, by everyone. Unfortunately the doctors will not let me switch to the low-weight molecular stuff, so on I go with heparin. In addition to initial sting, the tissue underneath often continues to burn for hours after the injection, then it itches. In order to avoid scratching my skin completely off, I’ve been using Benadryl cream and lotion several times a day. Oh, and then there’s the little issue of running out of inject sites. Most of the tissue is so damaged and hard underneath my skin, that even if I manage to get the needle through, upon withdrawing it, the heparin often comes squirting back out and I have to start again.

And the clothes…. Heparin is a blood thinner, so mix a needle, some thin blood, and clothes, and you have a mess. I usually walk around holding tissue on my stomach for up to 30 minutes, or until the bleeding stops, but the sites often bleed again within an hour, or even the next day. Bandaids aren’t an option because I’m allergic to latex and even the latex-free bandaids irritate my skin, a lot. Let’s just say, we go through gallons of OxiClean, other stain removers, and bleach at my house. My clothes are blood stained On the good days it’s just little specks, on the bad days it looks like I’ve murdered someone, violently.

From what I’ve been told by the high-risk OBs, I’ll continue on with two injections a day until delivery (scheduled because of the heparin), get a 12 hour break, then another six weeks of shots.

Counting down the days……

Thanks for letting me vent. Carry on with your regular scheduled, and less messy, blogging.


  1. So you'll have to continue the shots even after delivery? Wow, I never thought of that.

  2. Oh wow. You have every right to complain! That sounds awful! Just keep thinking of the prize at the end of all this!

  3. Petal, probably you have tried this already, but just in case I'll say it to you. If you put an ice cube on the spot after the injection it should help local vaso-constriction and hopefully reduce the bleeding. Much love, Fran

  4. Ouch! Clexane stung enough - you poor thing with even worse heparin. Sending virtual plasters your way (as useful as the real things?!).


  5. Hi

    I have been following your blog for some time and you may have said (but maybe I don't remember) Why do you need to take Heparin? I just figured it was to stop you losing the baby, but can I ask why you need to take it after pregnancy? Just a curious person.


    (and sorry to hear it is such a pain)

  6. Have you tried icing before the injection? You know how lovenox has that prefilled airbubble? Wonder if that would work with Heparin?

  7. Bless. Your. Heart.

    I'm so, so sorry.

    I went through these sorts of issues, also. When you come out on the other side with a healthy baby, the memories of this pain will fade and for the rest of your life you'll have the joy of a child. Hugs to you.

  8. i'm on lovenox now, and without ice it's torture. heck, WITH ice it's no fun and occasionally results in tears. i'll be switching to heparin in about a month (since it's shorter-acting and i've got twins, and therefore a high chance of c-section, so they want it out of my system quickly). i'll let ya know how it compares :)

    on the bandaids, i'm also very sensitive to adhesive, but my husband found a paper 1st aid tape that seems to be okay. we use it with sterile pads. i still sometimes bleed through it, and it's not unusual for the sites to reopen a day or more later, but at least i don't get giant welts from the bandaid adhesive anymore. you may be more sensitive than i am, but it might be worth a try. (for comparison, the estrogen patches from IVF left giant red rectangles for 4-5 days at least - awful things.)

    and there's nothing wrong with letting off the steam. just because we IVFers tried and tried to get pregnant doesn't mean we're going to have the pregnancy any easier than anyone else!

  9. Ouch! I put a bag of frozen peas (wrapped in a tea towel) on the spot for a good 10-15 minutes to numb the area before I injected my painful meds (Lovenox and Humira) and then I injected the medicine slowly. It really seemed to help in my case. Good luck!

  10. It's Friday, and it’s the Weekly State Department Blog Roundup’s Three Month Blogiversary - and you're on it!

    Here is the link:

    (If I quoted your text or used your photo(s) and you would rather I had not, please let me know. Please also be sure to check the link(s) that I put up to you, in order to verify that they work properly. If you would rather that I had not referenced you, and/or do not want me to reference you in the future, please also contact me.)


  11. Thanks for the helpful hints and kind words!

  12. I have no idea what you are going through, but I wish you the best and that this will go by quickly for you. You are very brave.

  13. Vent away, honey. We're here for you.
    ** sympathy and comfort being sent to you **