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Using Clomid To Help Fertility (aka Clomiphene citrate or Serophene)

Clomid For FertilityFertility doctors often require their patients to go through several testing procedures before deciding on a treatment option for them. The doctors want to get a good understanding of their patients’ infertility—they want to know why the couples are experiencing problems conceiving or carrying a baby to term. This helps them to better decide upon the best treatment for that specific couple.

Nevertheless, much of the time doctors often decide to prescribe fertility drugs as part of the treatment plan. That’s because, quite frankly, they have been proven to work time and time again.

The fertility drug that is probably prescribed more than any other is Clomid. Also called Clomiphene citrate (CC) or Serophene, Clomid was one of the first fertility drugs to come on the market—it has been around for more than 30 years. It is an oral medication (rather than injectable), which makes it easy for women to take. And, it is generally affordable, unlike some medications.

The way in which Clomid works is rather complicated, of course—but, an explanation can be simplified so as to be understandable. First, though, one must understand follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).

See, if a woman’s body does not have the right levels of these two hormones, her ovulation will not occur correctly. If her FSH levels are too high, her eggs may release prematurely, for example. FSH and LH work together to regulate and control a woman’s ovulation.

Back to Clomid. What it does is causes the pituitary gland to release more FSH and LH, inducing the body to release one or more mature eggs.

Clomid is not taken all of the time, though—if a woman took this fertility drug every day, it would be taxing on her body. Her body would be trying to release more and more FSH and LH as well as ovulating much more than once a month.

Instead, this fertility drug is taken for five days early in the menstrual cycle. A woman’s doctor may decide to have her begin the drug between day 3 and day 5 of her cycle. In most cases, the initial dosage is 50mg; a woman’s doctor may increase the dosage if pregnancy does not occur.

Clomid is said to induce ovulation in as many as 85% of the women who take it; however, only about half of these women actually become pregnant. The more cycles that a woman uses this fertility drug, the greater her chances of becoming pregnant. But, it isn’t recommended that women stay on this drug for more than 6 cycles in most cases; if a woman has not become pregnant after 6 cycles on Clomid, her doctor will likely look at other treatment alternatives.

Even though this medication has been used for so many years, it isn’t without side effects. For instance, about 5% of women who take Clomid will get an ovarian cyst at some point while on the drug. Although these cysts are benign, they can cause discomfort. They usually go away on their own, but they can be removed.

As with any fertility drug, the chance of becoming pregnant with multiples is greater than with a regular pregnancy. But, it isn’t a huge risk on this medication—only about 5% of women who take Clomid are likely to have twins, and triplets or greater multiples are very rare.
Other side effects include ovarian enlargement, hot flashes, pelvic or abdominal discomfort, bloating, nausea or vomiting, breast discomfort, and headache. These side effects do not occur in everyone, nor do they occur all of the time.

Clomid will not work for everyone, but it may be a good fertility drug for many women who are trying to become pregnant. Women should, of course, check with their own doctors—each woman’s situation and condition is different, so treatment options for each woman may be different.

 
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