Getting Pregnant and Fertility Drugs: Clomiphene (Clomid)
If you are experiencing difficulties getting pregnant, you may consult your doctor for a fertility drug or an infertility treatment to increase your odds of getting pregnant. If the difficulty of conceiving springs from ovulation problems caused by one of the many female fertility offenders such as hormonal imbalances, anovulation, or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) your doctor may prescribe the fertility drug, clomiphene.
What is Clomiphene?
Clomiphene is available under the brands Clomid and Serophene. Clomiphene can help females who experience irregular ovulations or anovulation to conceive. Clomiphene is often prescribed to women with PCOS, one of the common infertility symptoms in women. If you find that you do not respond to clomiphene, then ask your doctor about metformin, an insulin-sensitizing drug that can increase your sensitivity to clomiphene.
If you are planning to undergo assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), your doctor may also prescribe clomiphene to promote the production of several healthy eggs before you begin your IVF treatment.
Other Uses of Clomid
Clomid (clomiphene) can also be used in men to treat hormonal imbalances that are associated with low sperm count and/ or sperm motility.
How it Works
Clomiphene works by increasing the production of the follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) that induce ovulation. These hormones stimulate your ovaries to grow one or more mature eggs, depending on how frequent you ovulate. After you complete a cycle of clomiphene, your hypothalamus releases lutenising hormone (LH) that trigger your ovaries to release the mature egg or eggs into your fallopian tubes. If your egg runs into a healthy sperm on its way to down to the uterus, your chances of conception increase.
Clomiphene is generally administered in a pill form for one five-day cycle a month. If you menstruate regularly, you can take clomiphene three to fives days into your menstrual cycles for about five days. If you experience irregular periods or none at all, your doctor will check if you're pregnant, and if you're not pregnant your doctor will prescribe a medication called Provera to induce menstruation before you start on clomiphene.
Your doctor will monitor you closely while you undergo your treatment of clomiphene. He or she will check to see if you're ovaries are preparing to release an egg or eggs. Most women often receive at most three to six cycles of clomiphene. Your odds of getting pregnancy doesn't increase if you increase the number of cycles. Normally, if you see no improvement in fertility after three cycles, your doctor may suggest another fertility treatment or drug.
Clomiphene like any other fertility drug may cause some side effects. The common side effects of clomiphene include:
- mild swelling of the ovaries
- stomach pain
- breast tenderness
- weight gain
- blurred vision
- ovarian cysts (rare symptom)
Women using clomiphene may also be at a risk of developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), a condition where your ovaries respond too well to the treatment and produce too many eggs. As a result, your ovaries swell and leak fluid into your abdominal cavity. Generally, OHSS resolves itself, but in rare cases it can be life threatening. This fertility drug also increases the chances of having twins by 10%.
Clomiphene Success Rates and Cost
Clomiphene is efficient in inducing ovulation in about 80% of the women within the first three months of treatment. Nearly 40% of the women who ovulate will get pregnant.
Clomid treatments in the United States cost a minimum of $50 per cycle. This cost doesn't include the cost of the visits to the doctor, the vaginal ultrasounds, or of the cost of follow-up procedures.
Visit our forum to chat with other women also giving clomid a try.