Clomid Therapy

Clomid is a fertility drug, taken by women which regulate ovulation. It has been taken by countless numbers of women and is linked to fairly high success rates.

The official name for this drug is clomiphene citrate although you will know it as clomid, serophene or milophene. It is one of the most popular forms of fertility medication and has been in use for 30 years or more.

How successful is Clomid?

It can increase your chances of ovulation to 70% or even 90% within your first 3 cycles. And, 40% of couples manage to conceive during these cycles. Just be aware that there is a small risk (around 5 to 10%) of a multiple pregnancy.

How does Clomid work?

Basically, clomid stimulates the ovaries so that they produce an increased number of follicles each month. And this increases the likelihood of pregnancy.

What happens is that clomid acts a number of receptors in the woman’s body which control hormone production and release. It focuses in particular on the following 3 hormones:

  • Luteinizing hormone (LH)
  • Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)
  • Gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH)

It increases the levels of these 3 hormones which are part of ovulation.

Clomid fools the body into thinking that it has lower levels of oestrogen. This causes the brain to secrete higher levels of GnRH which stimulates the release of LH and FSH.

And these hormones stimulate the ovaries into producing more mature follicles.

Who is prescribed Clomid?

It is prescribed for women who are experiencing any of these causes of infertility:

  • Anovulation
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Irregular periods

It can also increase the number of follicles for IVF treatment.

Clomid treatment

This drug is taken orally for 5 days a month (your menstrual cycle).

For example, you may be asked to take clomid on days 3 to 7 or days 5 to 9 of your cycle. You will be required to continue with this dosage for one to two cycles.

Dosages start at 50g although this will be increased to 200g if there is no improvement to ovulation.

It is usually taken for a maximum of 6 cycles but will be discontinued if there are no changes in your ovulation. It may be combined with another form of fertility medication.

Side effects of Clomid

All fertility medications come with a small amount of risk and Clomid is no different. The side effects are mild and manageable although they can become a problem with higher dosages.

These side effects are:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Breast soreness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Blurred vision

And around 30% of women notice a change to their cervical mucus. This mucus becomes too thick which stops sperm from travelling up the fallopian tubes and prevents fertilisation.

Plus there are potential complications with this medication which you need to be aware of, the main one being Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). This is where cysts form on the ovaries which cause them to become swollen and larger in size. Now this can disappear without requiring treatment but it does need careful monitoring to prevent the following:

  • Liver and/or kidney problems
  • Fluid in the lungs and stomach
  • Torsion (twisting) of the ovaries

Your specialist will discuss the side effects as well as the benefits of Clomid with you and will recommend an alternative if necessary.

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