Clomiphene citrate, most commonly marketed under the name Clomid, and to a lesser extent Serophene, is a fertility drug used to treat problems with ovulation. Clomid comes in pill form, and is successful in triggering ovulation in 80% of patient. Only your healthcare provider can prescribe Clomid, so you should speak to him or her first if it is something you want to find out more about.
How does Clomid work for fertility?
Clomid is taken as a pill, usually as a 50 mg dose for 5 consecutive days beginning somewhere between days 3 and 5 of the menstrual cycle. Clomid tricks the part of the brain the regulates hormone function, the hypothalamus, into thinking that your body has a lower level of estrogen than it actually does. This results in the production of extra FSH (Follicle-Stimulating Hormone), which causes your follicles to become more robust than they otherwise would, ultimately leading to the rupture of a follicle, and ovulation.
Ovulation generally occurs about 6-7 days after the last day of the Clomid regimen, but patients are recommended to begin using ovulation test strips about 3 days after the last day of taking the pill. Other ovulation monitoring techniques are possible through a healthcare provider, such as a vaginal ultrasound to determine the number and size of follicles, or estrogen level tests 4-6 days after taking the last pill.
According to leading fertility clinic IVF New Jersey, Clomid is successful in triggering ovulation in about 80% of patients, with 15% conceiving in any given cycle using Clomid, and 40% becoming pregnant over the course of the recommended maximum of six cycles. The dosage may be increased by 50 mg each cycle (though going over 150 mg isn’t often recommended) until pregnancy is achieved.
When is Clomid used?
Clomid is prescribed to treat infertility due to ovulatory disorders like PCOS, irregular cycles, anovulation (no ovulation in a menstrual cycle), and unexplained infertility. Clomid will generally only be prescribed if there are no fallopian tube blockages, and no male factor infertility. Clomid helps women who may not ovulate, or ovulate regularly, to do so.
Are there any side effects?
The most common side effects of Clomid include enlarged ovaries, headaches, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, bloating and mood swings. Additionally, somewhere between 5-10% of pregnancies achieved after using Clomid will result in a multiple pregnancy, most commonly twins. Healthcare providers normally suggest that patients seek a different method of assisted reproduction after six cycles of Clomid without success.