What is Trigger Shot? | Dr. Hakan Özörnek

What is Trigger Shot?

In a normal menstrual cycle, one of the eggs that comes out of the ovarian pool under the influence of the woman's own hormones begins to grow. When it reaches a sufficient size, luteinizing hormone (LH) begins to rise, triggering the release and ovulation of the egg. If the egg encounters sperm in the fallopian tube and fertilization occurs, pregnancy occurs. If fertilization does not occur, the woman has her period, and the next cycle begins.

The trigger shot mimics the luteinizing hormone (LH) and is an injection that completes the maturation of the egg and induces ovulation.

Why is the Trigger Shot administered?

The Trigger Shot is administered to complete the maturation and induce the ovulation of the egg after ovarian stimulation treatment, intrauterine insemination (IUI), or in vitro fertilization (IVF) in women undergoing fertility treatments.

When should the Trigger Shot be administered?

The Trigger Shot is typically administered when the eggs reach a size of 17-20 mm. It should be done according to the doctor's plan and closely monitored cycles. Patients undergoing ovulation treatment should adhere to the intercourse schedule recommended by the doctor after the Trigger Shot. For patients undergoing intrauterine insemination (IUI), the insemination is usually scheduled 36 hours after the Trigger Shot. In IVF patients, the egg retrieval procedure is usually planned 34-38 hours after the Trigger Shot, with 36 hours being the common timing.

What happens if the Trigger Shot is administered at the wrong time?

The timing of the Trigger Shot is crucial, and it must be administered on the specified day and time by the doctor. Incorrect timing can eliminate the chance of obtaining mature eggs and, as a result, prevent pregnancy. Mistiming, especially in expensive treatments like IVF, can lead to empty eggs, rendering the treatment unsuccessful.

Does the Trigger Shot cause pain?

The Trigger Shot typically contains injections that mimic the luteinizing hormone (LH) in the body, often using Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG). These injections can be administered into the muscle of the buttocks or subcutaneously in the arm or abdomen. Nowadays, subcutaneous Trigger Shots that patients can self-administer are commonly used. These injections are painless, do not require a visit to a healthcare facility, and provide a comfortable option for patients. In IVF treatments, for patients with very high levels of Estradiol, which may lead to ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), Trigger Shots containing GnRH agonists can also be recommended. These injections can also be self-administered subcutaneously by the patient.

How many times is the Trigger Shot administered?

The Trigger Shot is generally administered once, approximately 36 hours before the scheduled intrauterine insemination (IUI) or egg retrieval procedure in IVF. However, in certain cases, such as in patients with a history of excessive ovarian response, previous failure to obtain mature eggs, or empty eggs, the timing of the Trigger Shot may be adjusted, or multiple Trigger Shots may be administered. Personalized treatment is essential.

What happens if you forget to administer the Trigger Shot?

The Trigger Shot is the most critical injection that affects the success of the treatment. If you forget to administer the Trigger Shot, you should inform your nurse or doctor immediately because proceeding with the procedure without administering the Trigger Shot will result in failure to obtain eggs. If you share that you forgot with your doctor, a new day and time will be determined, and your treatment will be planned accordingly. However, this will also affect the maturity of the eggs, so not forgetting and administering the Trigger Shot on the correct day and time is the most crucial step in treatment.

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