Clomid: How it Works and What to Expect

Is Clomid the Right Fertility Medication for Me? Clomid, Infertility and Ovulation Induction


Clomid (clomiphene, clomiphene citrate) is among the most well-know and frequently prescribed of all fertility drugs. Clomid is taken orally and is considered a "first line" prescription fertility drug for dealing with infertility issues. Clomid is so widely prescribed that you may even find a "Clomid Club" on many preconception forums and communities. Clomid is used predominately for inducing ovulation in women with ovulatory disorders like anovulation, PCOS, and other infertility symptoms.

Clomid works by impacting hormonal production, by influencing the "fertility hormones" (estrogen, FSH, and LH) that precipitate ovulation. Like many prescription medications, Clomid works by "tricking the brain" into believing that estrogen levels in the body are low. This in turn encourages the brain to send signals to release more Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH), which causes the pituitary gland to produce more FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone). LH is the hormone that facilitates ovulation (the release of the egg), and it's also the hormone used as the marker in urine ovulation testing.

Sounds complicated? In effect, clomid precipitates, through these various hormonal mechanisms, increased production of LH and FSH, which in turn foster a mature ovarian follicle and the release of the ovum. This is called ovulation induction. In more clinical terms, Dr. G. Berger notes: "Structurally like estrogen, clomiphene binds to the sites in the brain where estrogen normally attaches, called estrogen receptors. Once these receptor sites are filled up with clomiphene, they can't bind with natural estrogen circulating in the blood and they are fooled into thinking that the amount of estrogen in the blood is too low. In response, the hypothalamus releases more GnRH, causing the pituitary to pump out more FSH, which then causes a follicle to grow to produce more estrogen and start maturing an egg to prepare for ovulation".

Clomid is taken orally for about five days near the beginning of the cycle. Dosage and "start dates" will be indicated by the prescribing doctor. Once ovulation commences, most pregnancies occur in the first 6 cycles of treatment. While clomid has a high rate of success in inducing ovulation, it cannot guarantee pregnancy. Note: if you test too early for ovulation in your cycle with a urine ovulation test (lh), you may receive a false positive on an ovulation test when using clomid.

Fertility Supplements and Clomid: Currently, there are a number of herbal-nutritional supplements on the market containing vitex (chasteberry, vitex agnus castus). These products may be viewed as an herbal infertility therapy, and products like FertilAid and FertilityBlend are based on impressive clinical studies indicating that fertility can be improved with fertility supplementation. However, both of these manufacturers indicate that clomid should not be used in conjunction with vitex (or herbal infertility products in general). Fertility supplements like Fertility Blend and FertilAid are non-prescription. While on clomid, women are still encouraged to take a prenatal supplement with folic acid.

Well-known side effects of clomid include - you guessed it - multiple births (aka twins, triplets...). For women using clomid, twins may occur in 5% of births. Triplets are much less frequent. Although there has been some discussion linking prescription infertility treatments like clomid to ovarian cancer, evidence seems to point now to other causes, even infertility itself as a cause of some cancers. There is no evidence that clomid causes an increase in congenital abnormalities or birth defects in children.

Clomiphene and Clomid Abuse. While clomid cannnot be "abused" in any traditional sense, it can be prescribed (or rather over-prescribed) for infertility issues before a fertility workup has been performed, or before there is even any sign of ovulatory disorder, anovulation, luteal phase defect (LPD), PCOS, etc. Proper screening is essential prior to prescription. Given that male fertility issues constitute nearly 30% of infertility cases, a thorough evaluation and/or fertility workup should be performed on the woman to verify that ovulation induction via clomid is indeed required. For women without ovulatory/ovulation issues or infertility symptoms, clomid use may actually interfere with conception. Before accepting a clomid prescription, ensure that your doctor has performed the requisite infertility workup and/or has correctly identified a fertility issue or ovulatory disorder.

Women with liver disease should not use clomid. Clomid should not be given to patients with ovarian cysts, since they may grow larger. It should not be taken by a patient who may be pregnant, although there is no proof of fetal problems or complications.

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Comments

I had a baby in 2003 with no problem and drugs (naturally) and since then i am trying to have another baby (4 years later) it seems impossible. I decided to check an infertility doctor and so does my husband; everything is ok with both of us. Therefore, i tried insemination twice. On the second time i got pregnant but it was an ectopic pregnancy and ended up having a surgery to remove the baby. Then 6 months later i tried IVF, since my doctor told me there was a 15% chance of having the same problem. So i went for it and did not get pregnant. I am 37 now and want to have a sibling for my daughter so bad because she is so lonely and it is not happening. I am thinking of starting on clomid again since i had some left from the previous treatments and buy a test to check my ovulation so i can get busy. Since i am not under any doctor supervision, can i still try and hopefully get pregnant and carry the baby to term?

Hi ladies I understand how you all feel but this is my first time taking clomid . When I check for ovulation I didn't see it with the test but I had symptoms that am ovulating such as lower abdomen pain and I check my mucus it was a white egg white. All my sisters and brothers have children but I don't. And am eager to have. I hope cloimd will work because am frustrated and am trying to relaxed my body from stress. So am trying to hang in there

Ive been taking Clomid for the past 7 or 8 months but without any success, started accupuncture last week to see if that will help, the hospital say i have polyps but my doctor says i dont, next hospital appoint is not til next april and im loosing my mind Sad

This is my second month of taking clomid. I made a mistake of taking clomid on day 2 instead of day 3. Is there a side effect?

I have pcos, and in my previous month i took clomis for the 1st time, and i ovulated with 3 mature eggs, but i was not fortunate enough to conceive. i had period in 30 days. and again i took the same dose last month, kept checking for O, but couldn't track it, and I'm on my 44th day, no period, but my pregnancy test showing me NEGATIVE! please help, is this normal? why did it work last time, but not this time? WORRIED!!

hello.im getting married next month to my boyfriend of 6 years. i have pcos and im 37 years old and i really want baby so much my sisters and brothers all have a family and i dont and hurts me so much nights i would cry cos im so sad. but does pcos stop you from having a baby. please help me thank you.

Recently,I diagnosed a pcos...then the Dr, advised me to take pilss for 3 months after that she gave me clomid 50 mg...then i had 5 days menstruations....but until now im very much disaapointed because im not yet pregnant....i want a pertinent advice....what are the pros and cons and getting pregnant...help me.....

Hi All , I started taking clomid last month for the first time, Was really pelased when it showed i had ovulated properly , I have been ovulating but not a t a level it should be to concieve,

I didnt conceive last month and was a bit disapointed as i had so many side effects i really didnt want to start them again, but i did,
I have also een advised no hot baths from now on and also the best time to have fun with your partner is first thing in the morning as the sperm is at is strongest ,

Hopefully it will work soon and i will fall ,

Good Luck to you all that are trying,

Good Day Ladies.....i have read all the most recent posts on CLOMID and well I am on my second round of Clomid! Last month was nothing but a joke for us! IT seemed like there was just no way of figuring out when i ovulated other than buying the very expensive tests to just use them and have them wasted! I am hoping this time around we have been able to conceive. We used the clomid with my son and that was already 3 years ago and we only used it once! So we thought for sure this time we would only take it once and be done again! But that is just not the case! I have been battling PCOS since we got married in '05! And its such an aggravating disease because just when you think your on the road to get a hang of it you gain 10 more pounds! I am crossing my fingers and toes this time worked for us and we are DONE!! So here baby blessing to you all and fingers crossed!!

if i take clomid and i get pregnant,is there other drugs i should take to sustain the fetus for the 1st few weeks.as i have had a miscarriage.and am thinking it might be because i didnt have enought hormones to sustain the baby at the early stage.pls advise.

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