Many couples that have difficulty conceiving naturally turn to various fertility treatments to increase their chances of becoming pregnant. One of the most popular medications used for over 30 years to help induce and regulate ovulation is Clomid. Also known as clomiphene citrate Clomid is a prescription medication used for treating infertility in women. It is one of the fertility medications with the highest success rates. It is also one of the most inexpensive fertility drugs available.
Clomid is generally prescribed for following conditions that might be cause of women s infertility: anovulation, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or irregular menstruation. It is also used to increase the number of follicles available for IVF treatment procedures. Clomid in particular works by acting on a number of different receptors in the body regulating production and release of three hormones involved in the ovulation process:
- gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)
- luteinizing hormone (LH)
- follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
Clomid works by tricking the body into believing that levels of estrogen are lowered. As a result, brain begins to secrete increased levels of gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which stimulates the release of other two hormones, LH and FSH. These hormones then trigger the ovaries to begin to mature more follicles, inducing the ovulation. Clomid side effects are usually mild and not particularly troublesome, so women who are using this medication shouldn t be worried.
Side effects might include mood swings, nausea, vomiting, breast tenderness or fatigue. Also, changes in cervical mucus are noted in 30% of women using Clomid, where cervical mucus becomes hostile to sperm, making the conception difficult.
The main risk associated with Clomid use is the potential for developing Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). OHSS can occur not only with Clomid, but also with use of any type of ovulation stimulating drug, when cysts begin to form on the ovaries. Usually, OHSS disappears without treatment but, without proper monitoring it could cause potential complications including kidney and liver problems, fluids in the lungs and stomach or twisting the ovaries. So, it is necessary that fertility specialist monitor you for any signs of OHSS if you are taking Clomid. The success rate with Clomid depends on several factors, including:
- Possible cause of infertility - Clomid is most useful for women with ovulation problems
- The fertility of your partner Be sure that your partner visits fertility specialist as well for possible causes of infertility
- Timing of your intercourse - Ovulation usually occurs 5 to 10 days after finishing treatment with Clomid
- Chance - Even the fertile couples who had an intercourse at the time of ovulation, might not become pregnant
Furthermore, 40% of couples become pregnant during the first three cycles. Be aware that there is a 5% to 10% chance of twin and multiple pregnancy when taking Clomid.
Of course, there are other fertility medications that may be advertised to have higher success rates in terms of conception, but they costs more than Clomid, and they tend to pose much higher risks in terms of side effects. But, their success rates are not that much higher than success rates with Clomid. This is why Clomid is often prescribed before other fertility medications. Keep in mind that taking Clomid does not guarantee that you ll have successful conception. However, try not to become discouraged if you do not become pregnant right away. About half of the patients who successfully ovulate as a result of taking Clomid, will have a successful conception within six months. But, you will need some patience. Even fertile couples need some time to get pregnant. Be sure to adopt healthy habits and diet, and consult your specialist about taking Clomid while trying to conceive.