Trypanophobia is defined as the fear of injections, and this affects approximately 10% of the population, where 20% of the population has a fear of pointy objects in general. Although this is a learned condition, most people acquire it by age four to six. If this applies to you, you are not alone.
Unfortunately for trypanophobics, fertility treatment involves a series of self-injections and in-clinic blood draws that can make the process less than fun. Luckily, there are some things you can do to reduce your needle anxiety and reduce pain with injections.
1. Talk about it. Sometimes talking over your fear of needles with a friend or family member can help. Let your healthcare provider know about your fears and concerns since they may have more information to ease your worries.
2. Position your body. Be comfortable. During self-injections, find a nice chair to sit on. If you are likely to faint at the sight of a needle, it is okay to have someone help you. If you are having your shot or blood draw at a clinic, be sure to let the healthcare provider know if you are likely to faint so they may position you for a safe procedure.
3. Distract yourself. During self-injections, you can find a nice TV show or podcast to pay attention to just before injecting. Some of your favorite music might help set a cozier mood.
4. Be optimistic. Remind yourself that these injections and blood draws only last a few seconds and that people come in contact with needles everyday without problems.
5. Cough. Studies show that coughing during the injection can reduce or even nullify the pain of injections. An article published in the British Journal of Plastic Surgery says that the distraction and momentary increase in blood pressure can reduce pain perception.
These five tips can help reduce fear and anxiety around injection time. Remember that fertility treatment only lasts for a few days and that your hard work and efforts will pay off in the end.