Clomid

medically reviewed

Clomid is a fertility drug that is used to help women become pregnant. It is a pill that is taken orally, and it helps to stimulate the ovaries so that they will produce eggs. If you are trying to conceive, you may want to consider using Clomid. In this article, we will discuss how Clomid works and how you can take it for fertility treatment.

What is Clomid and how is it used?

Clomid is a fertility drug that is used to help women become pregnant. It is a pill that is taken orally, and it helps to stimulate the ovaries so that they will produce eggs. Clomid can be used for both men and women who are trying to conceive. For women, Clomid helps to induce ovulation by causing the ovaries to produce more eggs. It is also effective in treating polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which is a common cause of infertility. For men, Clomid can be used to increase sperm count and improve sperm quality.

What is ovulation?

ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome

The process of ovulation occurs each month, generally around the 14th day of a woman’s menstrual cycle, when an unfertilized egg is released from the ovary. This happens as a result of several hormonal fluctuations that start in early pregnancy.

The ovum travels through the fallopian tube where it may or may not be fertilized by a sperm cell. If the egg isn’t fertilized, it falls into the uterine cavity, where it’s shed with the rest of the uterine lining as a woman’s period. The egg may implant in the uterine lining and lead to pregnancy if it is fertilized.

It’s impossible to get pregnant if your menstrual cycle is inflexible. This is due to the fact that it’s difficult to know when to have sex in order for egg and sperm to meet at the right time.

How does Clomid work?

In a nutshell, Clomid causes your body to release hormones that increase the possibility of your ovaries releasing a mature and ready-to-be-fertilized egg. Many people take Clomid as part of fertility treatment, such as an IUI (intrauterine insemination) or IVF (in vitro fertilization) cycle, but many start simply by taking Clomid and having sex.

The goal is to “attempt to improve the chances of sperm and egg coming into contact with each other,” according to Kenan Omurtag, M.D., division director of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis’ reproductive endocrinology and infertility department.

Clomiphene citrate works by binding to estrogen receptors in your brain, as opposed to the ones that bind with natural estrogen. As a result, your brain believes that your estrogen levels are low and responds by increasing FSH, or follicle-stimulating hormone. The function of FSH is fertility-related: the hormone stimulates the development of ovarian follicles by stimulating ovulation. An ovarian follicle is a tiny fluid sac within your ovaries containing an immature egg, also known as an oocyte. Women on birth control pills have a finite number of eggs left and may experience early menopause at 40 years old due to their pill’s anti-estrogenic properties.

See also  Clomid side effects

FSH promotes oocyte maturation by triggering follicular development. At least one of the eggs produced while on Clomid should be mature enough to emerge from the follicle and be swept into the fallopian tubes, where it may combine with sperm to become fertilized into an embryo.

Who should take Clomid?

polycystic ovary syndrome

If you have tried to conceive using sex for at least a year (or six months if you are older than 34), you may be a candidate for Clomid. Clomid is frequently given to people who:

  • Unexplained infertility: It’s disheartening to hear that you can’t get pregnant for no apparent reason. However, if you have regular menstrual cycles and at least one functional fallopian tube, your doctor is likely to diagnose this condition if your spouse’s sperm tests reveal no problems with count or mobility. Unexplained infertility affects up to 30 percent of couples who seek fertility treatment. Because there’s no known issue to address, your doctor will most likely prescribe an oral medication like Clomid since it’s non-invasive and inexpensive when compared to other fertility treatments.
  • The symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): include irregular periods or no periods at all. Clomid is sometimes given to patients with PCOS who experience infrequent cycles or no cycles at all. However, U.S. guidelines now advocate letrozole, a topical medication, as the first-line fertility treatment for women with anovulatory (missed) PCOS trying to conceive, since success rates in recent studies have been somewhat better than those seen with clomiphene citrate.
  • Irregular menstrual cycles: are common among women who take Clomid. If you don’t ovulate on a typical monthly cycle or never ovulate, your doctor may prescribe Clomid to help induce ovulation.

When and how to take Clomid?

Clomid comes in tablets of 50 milligrams. The typical starting dose is one tablet per day for five days, beginning on the third, fourth, or fifth day of your menstrual cycle. You’ll have to have sex at a specific time during your fertility window, which is six or so days around the start of your menstrual cycle when you might get pregnant (unless you’re using Clomid with an IUD or IVF cycle).

If you don’t get pregnant after taking Clomid for one month, your doctor may raise your dosage to two or three tablets a day during the next menstrual cycle. Take Clomid only if it’s been prescribed for you.

Recommended dosage

fertility medication

The treatment of the specified patient should begin with a low dosage, 50 mg once a day (1 tablet) for 5 days. The dose should only be increased in patients who do not ovulate as a result of cyclic CLOMID administration. If unusual sensitivity to pituitary gonadotropin is thought to be present, for example in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, a low dose or duration of therapy is advised.

Between each treatment cycle, the patient should be examined thoroughly to rule out pregnancy, ovarian growth, or ovarian cyst development.

See also  Fertile medicine

If bleeding is to be induced by progestin, or if prior to therapy, the patient experiences uterine bleeding, start treatment with a 50 mg dose for 5 days every 5th day from the fifth until the end of the cycle. If no recent uterine bleeding has occurred, treatment may begin at any time during the female. There’s no benefit in upping the dosage if ovulation occurs at this level.

If the ovulatory cycle does not resume following the first course of therapy, the second course of 100 mg daily (two 50-mg tablets taken as a single daily dose) for 5 days should be administered. This regimen may be begun as soon as 30 days after the previous one, provided that pregnancy is avoided by using effective birth control methods. It’s not advised to administer higher dosages or durations of treatment than 100 mg/day for 5 days.

Ovulation typically occurs after the first course of therapy in most patients. If three ovulatory responses occur but pregnancy has not been achieved, further treatment with Clomid is not advised and the patient should be re-evaluated. If three ovulatory reactions occur but pregnancy is not obtained, further treatment is not suggested. The patient should be reexamined if menses does not follow an ovulatory response. Long-term cyclic therapy beyond a total of about six cycles is discouraged.

Side effects of Clomid

There are some negative effects associated with this medicine, although these are generally minor. They include:

  • hot flashes
  • bloating
  • mood changes
  • nausea
  • breast tenderness
  • headaches

Multiple pregnancies

There is a slightly higher probability of having multiple pregnancies while taking Clomid. The rate for twins is around 7%, and that for triplets or higher-order multiples is less than 0.5%. If you are unwilling or unable to carry a twin pregnancy, your doctor may recommend more frequent monitoring.

Adverse effects

Because of Clomid’s impact on estrogen levels, your uterine lining may be thin (a thick lining can aid in implantation). Clomid can also alter the amount and quality of your cervical mucus.

Cervical mucus is thin and watery when exposed to estrogen, aiding the sperm cells in traveling up to the fallopian tubes. Estrogen levels are decreased while taking Clomid, resulting in a thicker cervical mucus than usual. This can prevent the sperm from reaching into the uterus and fallopian tubes.

Because the insemination catheter passes straight through the cervical mucus, this isn’t an issue if you’re undergoing intrauterine insemination.

Cancer

To date, there is no clear evidence that Clomid raises the risk of cancer in women. However, there is tentative evidence suggesting an association between ovulation-inducing medicines and endometrial cancer.

Birth defects

There is also no clear evidence that Clomid increases the risk of birth defects. However, because it belongs to a class of medications known as “teratogens,” there is always some potential for harm. You and your doctor will need to weigh the risks and benefits of taking Clomid before you start treatment.

Clomid success rate

Pregnancy outcomes are unpredictable and tend to worsen with time. According to a 2014 NIH-funded study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 19.1 percent of clomiphene citrate recipients achieved a successful pregnancy, resulting in a live birth. Meanwhile, according to the 2019 comprehensive review of 42 clinical trials published in the American Family Physician, 21.4% of patients taking clomiphene citrate obtained a successful pregnancy outcome, resulting in a live birth (22%).

See also  Infertility

The FDA advises that you take no more than six cycles of Clomid. If Clomid isn’t effective for you, there are several alternative fertility treatments to try.

Are there any alternatives to Clomid?

There are a few other fertility treatments available if Clomid doesn’t work for you. One option is gonadotropins, which are hormones that stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs. Another option is in vitro fertilization (IVF), during which your doctor will retrieve eggs from your ovaries and then combine them with sperm in a lab dish. The embryos that form will be placed back into your uterus several days later. IVF is generally more expensive than other fertility treatments and has a higher success rate. However, it also carries a greater risk of multiple pregnancies.

Your doctor may also recommend trying another type of medication if Clomid doesn’t work for you. These medications include injectable hormones such as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), as well as medications that suppress ovulation such as metformin.

Conclusion

Clomid is a relatively safe and effective medication for treating infertility. However, it does carry some risks, so you and your doctor will need to weigh the pros and cons before starting treatment. If Clomid doesn’t work for you, there are several other fertility treatments available.

If you’re considering trying Clomid for infertility, make sure to talk to your doctor first. They can help you decide if Clomid is the right treatment for you.

FAQ

What exactly does Clomid do?

Clomid is a medication that stimulates ovulation. It can be used to treat infertility in women who have difficulty ovulating on their own.

What are the side effects of Clomid?

The most common side effects of Clomid include hot flashes, mood swings, and headaches. Other possible side effects include visual disturbances and ovarian cysts.

Does Clomid increase your chance of having twins?

Yes, there is a small risk that you may have twins if you take clomiphene citrate (Clomid). According to the 2019 comprehensive review of 42 clinical trials published in the American Family Physician, approximately 15 percent of pregnancies that result from taking clomiphene citrate are “twin gestations.” Meanwhile, according to a 2010 article published by Healthline Media Inc., about 12% of pregnancies resulting from Clomid treatment are twins.

What is the success rate for Clomid?

According to a 2014 NIH-funded study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 19.% of clomiphene citrate recipients achieved a successful pregnancy, resulting in a live birth. Meanwhile, according to the 2019 comprehensive review of 42 clinical trials published in the American Family Physician, 21.% of patients taking clomiphene citrate obtained a successful pregnancy outcome, resulting in a live birth (22%).

How long does it usually take to get pregnant on Clomid?

It usually takes about six cycles of Clomid for most women to get pregnant. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor about what’s right for you. Some women may need more or fewer cycles to conceive.

Clomid

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