What is Clomid?
Clomid is the brand name for the fertility drug clomiphene citrate. Clomiphene citrate may also be sold under the brand name Serophene. Whether you're taking the brand name Clomid, Serophene, or a generic version of clomiphene citrate, it's all the same drug. (Think of Clomid in the same way that we use Kleenex® to refer to facial tissues.)
Clomid is the most well-known fertility drug, probably because it is the most commonly used. And with good reason. About 25% of female factor infertility involves a problem with ovulation, and clomiphene citrate, as a fertility drug, is easy to use (taken as a pill, not an injection), with not too many side effects, is pretty inexpensive compared to other fertility drugs, and is effective in stimulating ovulation 80% of the time.
In this article, I'll refer to clomiphene citrate by the brand name Clomid, just because that is how most people know the drug.
When is Clomid Used?
Clomid is used when there are problems with ovulation, but no problems with blocked fallopian tubes. (In that case, stimulating ovulation would be pointless -- the egg and sperm can't meet if the tubes are blocked.) If a woman has irregular cycles, or anovulatory cycles (menstruation without ovulation), Clomid may be tried first.
Clomid is often used in the treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) related infertility. It may also be used in cases of unexplained infertility, or when a couple prefers not to use the more expensive and invasive fertility treatments, like IVF.
How is Clomid Taken?
You should follow the directions your doctor gives you, as every doctor has a slightly different protocol.
However, the most common dosage of Clomid is 50 mg, taken for five days, on days 3 through 7 of your cycle, or days 5 through 9 of your cycle. (With day one of your cycle being the first day of real menstrual bleeding, and not just spotting.) Ovulation and pregnancy rates have been shown to be similar whether the drug is started on day two, three, four, or five, so don't feel concerned if your doctor tells you a different protocol to follow than your friend.
If 50 mg doesn't work, your doctor may increase the medication, according to their judgment, for a successive cycle. Or, they may give it another try at 50 mg. You might think that more is always better, but higher doses, especially at or above 150 mg, can actually make conception more difficult. (See below, under side effects.)
What are Clomid's Common Side Effects?
Clomid's side effects aren't so bad, as far as fertility drugs are concerned. The most common side effects are hot flashes, breast tenderness, mood swings, and nausea. But once the medication is stopped, the side effects will leave, too.
The side effect you're probably most familiar with is the risk of multiples. You have a 10% chance of having twins when taking Clomid, but triplets or multiples of more are rare, happening less than 1% of the time.
- Will You Have Clomid Twins?
- Should You Try To Have Twins?
- What Increases Your Chances for Twins
- Quiz: Are My Chances for Twins Higher Than Most?
One of the more annoying side effects to comprehend is that Clomid can decrease the quality of your cervical mucus (which sperm need to make their way to the egg), making conception more difficult. Clomid can also make the lining of your uterus thinner and less ideal for implantation. This is why "more" is not necessarily better when it comes to Clomid dosage and use.
How Successful Is Clomid?
Clomid will jumpstart ovulation in 80% of patients, and about 40% to 45% of women using Clomid will get pregnant within six cycles of use.
Using Clomid for more than six cycles is not generally recommended. If six cycles go by, and pregnancy is not achieved, other alternatives may be considered.
More on Clomid:
- Clomid FAQ
- When Should You Have Sex While Taking Clomid?
- Where to Buy Clomid for the Best Price
- Understanding Treatment of Infertility
- How to Have a Baby When You've Been Trying for Awhile
- What to Expect During Fertility Testing
- How to Cope When Trying to Conceive Overwhelms You
- Symptoms and Risk Factors of Infertility
- Causes of Infertility
- A Complete Guide to Baby Making Sex
- Take a Fertility Quiz
Would you like to receive trying to conceive tips and fertility information every week? Sign up for your free fertility newsletter here!Sources:
Medications for Inducing Ovulation: A Guide for Patients. American Society of Reproductive Medicine. Accessed February 3, 2008. http://asrm.org/uploadedFiles/ASRM_Content/Resources/Patient_Resources/Fact_Sheets_and_Info_Booklets/ovulation_drugs.pdf
Infertility in Women. A.D.A.M. Healthcare Center. Accessed February 3, 2008. http://adam.about.net/reports/000022_7.htm
General Infertility FAQ. InterNational Council on Infertility Information Dissemination, Inc. Accessed February 3, 2008. http://www.inciid.org/faq.php?cat=immunology&id=1