Clomid is the brand name of clomifene citrate, a commonly used drug used to treat female fertility problems. Clomid blocks the effects of oestrogen on the body, which then causes your body to increase the production of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinising hormone (LH). FSH prepares the eggs in your ovaries for release, and LH triggers the release of one or more mature eggs from your ovaries.
Clomid Success Rates
Clomid stimulates egg release in around 70% of users. Around 40% will go on to become pregnant. It is thought that up to 20% of pregnancies conceived with the help of Clomid end in miscarriage, but this is a similar rate to those conceived with no help.
How Do You Take Clomid?
Clomid is taken orally for five days early in your menstrual cycle. Most women start by taking a low dose of 50mg, this may then be increased in the future. You can take Clomid for up to six menstrual cycles at a time.
You will be advised to start taking Clomid within five days of the start of your menstrual period – your doctor will advise you of which day to start treatment. If you are not menstruating at all, or if you have very irregular cycles, you may be prescribed a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone to re-establish your periods before you can start taking Clomid.
Ovulation usually occurs between five and nine days after you finish your course of Clomid. Some women will ovulate and fall pregnant during the first month of treatment, whereas for others it may take longer for ovulation to begin.Your healthcare provider may monitor you during treatments to assess how your ovaries are responding to the drug. Some women release a number of mature eggs at once during treatment, which can increase the risk of multiple pregnancies. In pregnancies conceived with the help of Clomid, there is a 10% chance of twins.
Possible Side Effects When Taking Clomid
There are a number of possible side effects caused by taking Clomid, including:
- Hot flushes – around 10% of women will experience these
- Bloating and abdominal discomfort – this affects around 5% of takers
- Nausea and dizziness – 2% of women experienced nausea and vomiting while on this medication
- Breast tenderness – 2% of women found that their breasts felt tender during treatment
- Blurred vision – 1.5% of takers experienced blurred vision as a temporary side effect of the medication
- Headaches – a little over 1% of takers experienced this side effect
- Abnormal menstrual bleeding – over 1% of women experienced a change in their menstrual bleed while using this medication
- Weight gain – 1% of women experience weight change during treatment
- Mood swings – these affect less than 1% of takers
- Ovarian cysts – a small number of takers developed benign ovarian cysts while taking clomifene citrate, these usually disappeared without treatment once the course of medication was finished
- Vaginal dryness – a small number of women experienced vaginal dryness when taking the medication
- Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome – a very rare but potentially dangerous side effect, symptoms include stomach swelling and bloating
What If Clomid Doesn't Work?
If after six months you have still not ovulated, it may be determined that you are not responding to Clomid. At this point, your healthcare provider may recommend increasing the dosage. If you are still not responding to treatment at 100mg and 150mg a day, you may be resistant to clomifene.
You are more likely to be clomifene resistant if you have:
- A BMI of over 25
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
If you are clomifene resistant, your healthcare provider will be able to tell you more about the other treatment options available to you.