Also known in the medical community as clomiphene, Clomid is a type of fertility drug used to treat female fertility problems. In particular, it is often recommended for women with ovulation problems, such as those with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). This type of fertility drug is quite common, inexpensive and a popular part of infertility treatment. It is commonly used in conjunction with assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
How Does Clomid Work?
Generally speaking, clomiphene is used to help regulate or induce ovulation, and more specifically, to speed up the process of egg maturation in the ovaries. Before you take Clomid, you will have to be aware of your menstrual cycle, as it is normally taken on days three to seven, or five to nine, of your cycle.
Once in the body, Clomid gets to work trying to induce ovulation. It starts by telling your pituitary gland to secrete more follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). These hormones are what cue the ovaries to begin the egg maturation process, leading (ideally) to ovulation.
Obviously, Clomid is best suited to helping women with ovulatory problems. However, it can also be effective in treating those with a luteal phase defect, as well as those with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Clomid is often prescribed as a supplementary part of ART, as it helps to that ensure there are more eggs available for implantation. This is also referred to as superovulation, and carries with it an increased chance of multiple births.
How is Clomid Prescribed?
Generally, most doctors begin by prescribing the minimum dosage of clomiphene, which is 50mg. If your body does not respond during the first cycle, the next step is normally to increase the dosage to 100mg. The maximum dosage is 200mg, although this is usually only recommended in certain cases. In some cases, Clomid may be used in conjunction with another type of hormonal medication to stimulate ovulation.
You can also expect to be closely monitored by your fertility specialist while taking Clomid. This is done to ensure that the drug is working as it should, and that ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome has not occurred. This will also help to determine how well your body is responding to the clomiphene and whether or not it is necessary to increase your dosage.
While Clomid can be prescribed for as much as six cycles, many experts agree that if a pregnancy hasn’t occurred within the first three cycles, it is unlikely to occur using this type of treatment.
Side Effects of Clomid
Side effects of Clomid tend to be fairly mild. However, about a third of all Clomid users will develop hostile cervical mucus, making conception difficult, as this condition often causes the mucus to kill sperm.
Common Clomid side effects include:
- mood swings
- nausea and vomiting
- breast tenderness
- abdominal pain
- blurred vision
- weight gain
- ovarian cysts
Previously, it was thought that there was a link between ovarian cancer and Clomid use. However, research to this end has been inconclusive, and experts in the medical community largely refute this link.
Clomid and Multiple births
Clomid is also associated with a 10% increase in the chance of having twins. There is also the possibility of conceiving triplets or more; however, the chances of multiple births while using Clomid is generally thought to be extremely low.
Clomid Success Rates
A woman’s chances of ovulating while on Clomid are quite high. In fact, between 70% and 90% of women using Clomid will ovulate within the first three cycles.
Conception rates, on the other hand, vary. However, on average, about 40% of women will be able to successfully conceive within the first three months of using the fertility drug.