Clomid for Infertility: If you have an underlying health issue that is affecting your ability to ovulate, your doctor or fertility specialist may prescribe you Clomid to help you conceive. But what is this medication and how does it work? We have all the answers you need to get to know Clomid in our ‘How to take Clomid for Infertility’ guide.
What is Clomid?
Clomid – or Clomiphene Citrate – is an oral medication that is widely prescribed for women who are experiencing problems with ovulation as part of their monthly menstrual cycle.
It works by stimulating your pituitary gland to secrete more of two key hormones that are involved in ovulation – FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone). Increased levels of FSH trigger the ovaries to produce egg follicles while LH stimulates the process of ovulation, so a mature egg is then released.
Clomid is considered generally safe to use, although it can cause some mild side-effects, including headaches, nausea, hot flushes and changes in mood. You may also have a slightly higher risk of a multiple birth if you fall pregnant while taking Clomid.
Why it may be prescribed for you
Clomid can be an effective treatment for women who are experiencing irregular periods or a lack or total absence of ovulation (known as anovulation) but are wanting to have a baby. It can also be used to treat a common condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) where multiple small cysts build up on the ovaries and interrupt ovulation. However, some conditions such as early menopause and primary ovarian insufficiency won’t respond to Clomid medication.
How to get the most out of Clomid treatment
If you are ready to conceive and your ovulation issues are appropriate, your GP may prescribe you a course of Clomid before making a referral to a fertility clinic if the treatment doesn’t work. Clomid comes in tablet form, and you will be required to take between 50mg and 150mg a day over five days, depending on the prescription you have been given.
For the treatment to be effective, it is essential that you carefully follow the directions from your prescribing medical practitioner.
Each monthly treatment will be started at the beginning of the menstrual cycle, around day 3-5 and then continued daily over five consecutive days. If you have irregular or no periods, your doctor will formulate what is known as a ‘random start’ based on the results of blood tests. You will also need to have an ultrasound scan before and then during the five-day treatment, as well as blood and urine tests so your doctor can monitor your ovaries’ response to the medication and track ovulation. This will also enable doctors to determine the best time for sexual intercourse or intrauterine insemination, which will hopefully result in a pregnancy.
What happens next
Continuous use of Clomid for more than 12 cycles is not recommended as it can increase the risk of ovarian cancer.
Your doctor will typically prescribe you a maximum of three to six cycles of Clomid Infertility. After this time, if no pregnancy results, your GP will discuss alternative forms of treatment with you, which may include a referral to a fertility clinic where you will be assessed for procedures such as IVF.