What is Clomid?
Considering Clomid? You’re probably curious to know what it’s really like. Clomid success rates are relatively high and Clomid side effects are relatively low. This fertility drug can help many women get pregnant. However, this ovulation-inducing drug does not guarantee pregnancy, nor does it come without potential risk. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions about this fertility drug.
Why should I take Clomid?
Clomid can temporarily correct ovulation problems in women struggling with infertility. Your doctor may prescribe it if you are not ovulating on a monthly basis, ovulating too early or late in your cycle, or not at all. It can also be used to increase egg production for assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).
How does Clomid work?
Clomid triggers ovulation by causing the pituitary gland to secrete higher levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). This hormone promotes the growth of ovarian follicles containing eggs, leading to the release of estrogen. If the fertility drug cycle is successful, an LH surge will occur about a week after the last pill is taken. You will ovulate and release eggs for fertilization.
What will my life be like on Clomid?
Your doctor will start your first dose of Clomid (typically 50 mg) orally on either day 2, 3, 4, or 5 of your cycle. You will take one pill a day for the next five days. Ovulation will often occur on day 13 to 18 of your cycle. If you fail to ovulate, your doctor may increase your dosage by 50 mg increments, with 100 mg being the maximum recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
How will I know if I ovulate?
You may be asked to use an over-the-counter ovulation predictor kit or chart your basal body temperature (BBT) to find out if you are ovulating. You can chart your BBT by taking your temperature each morning.
Could I experience Clomid side effects?
About 1 in 10 women experience Clomid side effects. These symptoms may be similar to what you experience prior to a menstrual cycle, including:
- Breast tenderness
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Hot flashes
- Mood changes
Some other Clomid side effects that you should be aware of include:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Ovarian hyper stimulation (a potentially serious, yet rare, syndrome characterized by painful ovarian cysts and extreme pelvic discomfort)
- Visual disturbances (such as blurred vision, seeing spots or flashes)
If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
Are Clomid side effects worth it?
Since Clomid success rates are so high, and the majority of women tolerate it well, your doctor may feel that the benefits of this fertility drug outweigh the risks. Clomid success rates offer you an 80 percent chance of ovulating within the first three months, and a 40 to 45 percent chance of conceiving within six cycles.
What if Clomid doesn’t work for me?
If Clomid does not work for you after three to six cycles, your doctor may recommend other fertility treatments. In addition the fertility drug may not work as well if you have a medical condition such as:
- Disorders of the hypothalamus
- Low estrogen levels
These health conditions may lower Clomid success rates. Also, Clomid can sometimes hinder, rather than help, you get pregnant. In some women, it can thin the endometrial lining, impeding implantation. Also, it can sometimes cause cervical mucus changes, creating a barrier between the egg and the sperm. You should also be aware that there is a higher chance of becoming pregnant with multiples if you take Clomid.
Ask your fertility doctor about Clomid
Your journey to become pregnant has likely been an emotional one. Fertility drugs like Clomid can offer you hope. Discuss your chances of Clomid success with your fertility doctor to see if it is a good option for you.
- RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association: Fertility Medicines
- American Society for Reproductive Medicine: Medications for Inducing Ovulation
- American Pregnancy Association: Infertility Medications