What does Clomid (sometimes called Clomifene, Clomiphene or Clomiphene Citrate therapy) really DO? Many doctors prescribe it when a couple is coming in for fertility treatment where the woman may not be ovulating, ovulating irregularly or possible has “unexplained” infertility. It works by stimulating an increase in the amount of hormones (by blocking estrogen and therefore making more FSH – follicle stimulating hormone) that support the growth and release of a mature egg, what we call ovulation.
Doctors, such as OB/GYN’s or RE’s (Reproductive Endocrinologists – doctors who specialize in fertility) may prescribe it in these cases, usually in 50mg oral tablets for up to about 5 days. Some patients chart their temperature and take ovulation tests during this phase, and some come in for ultrasound scans and bloodwork to help get a clear reading of what the ovaries are doing and how a woman is progressing, whether she is trying to conceive (TTC) naturally, or planning an upcoming IUI or IVF (In Vitro Fertilization).
Side effects are minimal, and many women don’t even notice they are taking it, while others experience minor hot flashes or dizziness, or fatigue. If you have any allergies, to foods, chemicals or medication, you would be advised to tell the OB/GYN or RE you are working with before getting started, and if you’ve had any medical diagnosis, such as PCOS (Polycystic Ovaries).
Many fertility doctors use gonadotropins instead of clomiphenes, as they can be more effective, depending on the diagnosis and situation (and depending on age), but as Clomid is less expensive and can increase chances of pregnancy 5-10%, it is often used first in many cases, especially if the woman is under the age of 35. Once a woman is over 35 many doctors prefer to use other drugs which are more appropriate because they are more effective in women who are older in age, over thirty five years old.
Something to note – if your doctor does prescribe a round of Clomid for your infertility, it is advised that Clomid isn’t used over a certain amount of times consecutively, or over a certain amount of times per 12 months. Also, if you have a history of anemia or any kind of blood deficiency, and you plan on taking clomid, tell your doctor as well as your holistic health care provider (acupuncturist, naturopath, nutritionist etc.) as they can recommend foods and things to do to ensure a good, healthy uterine lining during the process, to aid in a healthy conception & pregnancy.
If you have any questions about Clomid, fertility medication or the fertility process in general, feel free to call our office and consult with our team – we are aleays happy to help on your path to parenthood!