Clomid, or Chlomiphene Citrate, is a very popular fertility medication taken by many women who are trying to conceive (TTC). It is easy to take. Clomid is almost always taken orally, in tablet form, to improve and regulate the quality and timing of ovulation, and to help increase the chance of pregnancy. It is also useful for women with irregular menstrual cycles. Usually doctors prescribe it to women for about 5 days.
So how does Clomid work? This Fertility drug works by blocking estrogen receptors in the brain. In response, the pituitary gland in the brain increases production of a hormone called follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). This chemical, even though it starts production in the brain, actually acts upon the ovaries. Specifically, if effects the ovarian follicles, causing eggs to be released. Ultrasounds and blood testing are done to confirm that the follicles are developing properly – the best way to track whether a woman is ovulating or not.
What can you feel when you take it? Most women don’t have any side effects. Some women may experience irritability, hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia, visual symptoms, pelvic pressure or cramping, but this is usually mild and passes quickly. Because Clomid may cause more than one egg to be released, there is an 8% to 10% increased risk of twins, and a less than 1% incidence of triplets. A potentially serious condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) can occur, though it is rare. There is no increased incidence of birth defects, stillbirths or miscarriage with Clomid. Nor is there definitive evidence that these medications can cause early menopause or ovarian cancer.
If you have any questions about Clomid or other drugs that your doctor is interested in giving you, ask your doctor questions and as always, feel free to call Santa Monica Fertility – we are always happy to help educated parents-to-be on their infertility journey and path to parenthood!