No More Fear: How to Give Yourself an Injection


Whether you’re living with a life-long condition or one that’s temporary, learning to self-administer an injection is always a nerve-wracking process, at first. But once you’ve got the technique right, it only gets easier.

If you have a fear or phobia of needles, called trypanophobia, this can make self-administration a little more challenging. Ultimately, you want to keep the benefits at the forefront of your mind. Some of which include saving yourself multiple trips to the doctor, and the costs associated with that.

Nevertheless, here’s how to give yourself an injection the right way.

The Best Place To Inject Yourself

In most cases, your doctor or a nurse should inform you of the best place to administer an injection when they’re prescribed to you. But this location really depends on the type of injection you need. There are two main types:

  • A subcutaneous injection — you need to inject medication into the fatty tissue just under the skin
  • An intramuscular injection — you need to inject medication deeper into the muscle

For a subcutaneous injection, some of the most common sites include the upper arm, the belly, or the front outer thigh. For intramuscular injections, some of the best sites include the deltoid muscle in the upper arm, or the vastus lateralis, found in the front outer thigh area. As well as the entrogluteal muscle found in the hip, and the dorsogluteal muscle found in the glutes.

Your doctor or nurse should specify how to reach and inject these particular areas.

How To Give Yourself an Injection: A Simple Breakdown

The main difference between how you inject yourself based on the type of injection you need is the angle of the needle. As mentioned, this is something your doctor or nurse should brief you on. Other than that, here’s how to inject yourself at home:

  • Step one: make sure you have all the necessary injection parts you need — shop for new products here, if you need them
  • Step two: hygiene is important, so always wash your hands before a self-injection
  • Step three: check your medication is good to go. If it appears cloudy or there is sediment build-up, discard it, and use a new vial/syringe
  • Step four: pick your injection site and clean it with an alcohol swab or pad. Don’t inject into areas of broken, bruised, or scarred skin. Try to rotate your injection sites so the skin remains healthy
  • Step five: remove the injection cap. For subcutaneous injections, hold the needle at an angle of 45 degrees. Pinch an area of the skin, fat, and muscle — at least one inch. With a quick, swift motion push the needle into the skin at a 45-degree angle. Once the needle submerges into the skin, slowly push down on the plunger to empty the syringe
  • Step six: remove the injection cap. For intramuscular injections, hold the needle at a 90-degree angle. Locate the specific muscle area and push the needle down with a quick thrust. Push down on the plunger to slowly empty the syringe. Always ensure you empty the syringe at a 90-degree angle for maximum absorption into the muscle
  • Step seven: Always wait for a few seconds before you withdraw the needle from the skin. Have a cotton pad ready to press onto the injection site. Press down for five seconds and cover with a Band-Aid if necessary

It’s important that you only ever use an injection needle and syringe once. Don’t attempt to use the same needle twice. Wash your hands afterward and keep an eye on the injection site for the next two hours in case of any adverse reactions.

Make Your Health a Top Priority With Us

We hope this article on how to give yourself an injection is useful to you if you’re new to the world of self-injections. It’s not necessarily a pleasant process, but it doesn’t have to be traumatic if you know how to do it right!

Interested in staying on top of your health and fitness? Explore the rest of this site for all the knowledge you need.