Clomid for infertility

Submitted by Nick on October 3, 2013

There are several different types of fertility treatments available for couples who are trying to have a baby, but have not been able to conceive naturally. Depending upon the causes and severity of infertility, your doctor may advise you to go in for options like fertility drugs, procedures like Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and surgery. Most doctors first advise women to try the drug Clomiphene Citrate for infertility.


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Fertility drugs like Clomiphene Citrate help regulate or induce ovulation in women. You will need to take a 50 mg tablet each day orally, on days 3 to 7 or days 5 to 9 of your menstrual cycle. In case there is no improvement seen in your follicular movement, your doctor may increase the dosage.

Many different brands of clomiphene citrate medicines are available in the markets today, the most commonly used one being Clomid.

Do remember that Clomiphene Citrate should only be taken if your doctor advises you to do so; never take any drug without first getting an approval from your healthcare provider. Also bear in mind that women are usually advised to stop using clomid for infertility after four to six months, as the success rate of this drug declines after 4 cycles.

What Is Clomid?

Clomid can be described as one of the most common brands of fertility medicines (Clomiphene Citrate) for inducing or regulating ovulation in women. This drug is prescribed for women who ovulate irregularly or those who do not ovulate at all. It was one of the first fertility medicines in clinical use, though it was originally studied as a possible birth control drug.

This medicine is usually known to be effective in the first 3 to 6 cycles. There are women who have taken clomid for over a year, but extended treatment is unlikely to be very effective. Moreover, this drug can be quite expensive and could trigger off harmful side effects in some women.

Therefore, it is absolutely essential to consider taking clomid only if it has been suggested by your fertility specialist.

How does clomid work?

Clomid does not stimulate the ovaries directly; instead, this drug exerts its effect on the hypothalamus, which is the gland that causes the pituitary to produce Follicle Stimulating Hormones (FSH), Luteinizing Hormones (LH) & Estrogen.

Clomid competes for estrogen receptors, which causes the hypothalamus to read lower levels of estrogen. The hypothalamus then produces a higher amount of Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone, which in turn stimulates the pituitary gland to produce more FSH.

It is the FSHs that have a direct stimulatory effect on the ovaries; high levels of FSH cause numerous follicles to develop and mature. The ovulation response is directly related to the dosage of the drug; once ovulation starts occurring on a regular basis, there is no reason to increase the dose.

Very often, clomid is prescribed on its own without artificial insemination; however, if pregnancy does not occur after 3 cycles, intrauterine insemination may be suggested for 3 cycles to increase the chances of conceiving.

How to take clomid?

Clomid is a drug that needs to be taken orally on certain days of the menstrual cycle to induce or regulate ovulation.

In case your doctor prescribes clomid for increasing fertility, you will probably be asked to take a 50 mg tablet daily from the 3rd to 7th day or from the 5th to 9th day of your menstrual cycle. If you do not get pregnant, or if there is no improvement in the follicular development, the dosage may be gradually increased by 50 mg increments. The maximum dosage recommended for any woman is 200 mg to 250 mg. However, once ovulation and follicular development occurs, your doctor will not increase the dosage.

Most women who take clomid get pregnant in 3 to 4 cycles (with or without IUI). This drug should be taken for no more than 6 cycles.

Side effects of clomid

While clomid is well-tolerated by most women, the extended use of the drug could lead to a few undesirable side effects, some of which include –

  • Abdominal discomfort and bloating
  • Abnormal menstrual bleeding
  • Breast tenderness
  • Dizziness
  • Enlarged ovaries
  • Headaches
  • Hot flashes
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Ovarian cysts or Ovarian Hyper-Stimulation Syndrome
  • Thick cervical mucus
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Visual disturbances
  • Weight gain
  • Fortunately, most of these side effects are not severe and cease once you stop taking the medication. However, it is important to note that of clomid, like most other fertility drugs, increases the chances of twins and multiple pregnancies if taken in a high dose.

    In case you happen to experience any of the side effects mentioned above, or other side effects after taking clomid, you should speak to your doctor about it immediately.

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