Clomid, which also goes by the name Clomiphene Citrate, is one of the most widely trusted fertility medications on the market. In most cases, it’s considered the “first-line” fertility medication and is used to treat a range of infertility factors – usually those related to irregular ovulation.
Here are some of the things you should know about this oral fertility medication before filling your first prescription:
1. It has a proven, historical track record
The first successful clinical trials for Clomiphene were published in 1967, and the FDA approved it’s use in 1967. As a result, Clomid has been trusted by gynecologists and fertility specialists for 50 years when it comes to prescribing a safe fertility medication.
2. It’s taken orally
There are two methods for administering fertility medications: orally and via injections. This makes Clomid a more palatable first-choice fertility drug because injectable medications are more involved and can have more intense or serious side-effects.
It is also a preferred choice for women who have PCOS since the dosage can be closely monitored, minimizing the chances of high order multiples (triplets or higher).
3. It works by blocking estrogen production, stimulating the hypothalamus and pituitary glands
Clomid blocks estrogen production, and this stimulates your hypothalamus and pituitary glands to produce gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).
The presence of these hormones catalyzes the maturation of the egg follicles, increasing the chances of ovulation.
4. Reliable success rates
When it comes to stimulating ovulation, Clomid is very successful, resulting in the release of mature eggs in roughly 80% of women who use it. However, only about 10% to 13% of those will get pregnant per cycle. Thus, Clomid is not an infertility treatment cure-all.
Clomid does not increase your chances of pregnancy if you have infertility factors that are unrelated to ovulation, such as blocked tubes, uterine abnormalities, ovarian failure, pelvic lesions, certain male infertility factors, etc.
Accurate infertility testing/diagnostics for both you and your partner are the cornerstone of finding a fertility treatment that works. In most cases, your OB should refer you to a fertility specialist if you don’t get pregnant after two or more cycles of Clomid.
5. The side effects are usually very mild
One of the reasons doctors and their patients prefer Clomid is that it has reasonable success rates and minimal (low-risk) side effects. Those who do have side effects report bloating, nausea or headaches. Blurred vision and hot flashes have also been reported. Very few women ever experience serious side effects from Clomid.
6. It’s commonly the first step in fertility treatments
Because Clomid can achieve pregnancy success with minimal side effects, it’s often the first step in a couple’s fertility treatment journey when women have healthy ovarian reserves but fail to ovulate regularly and/or for women whose partners have low sperm count.
7. It may take repeat cycles
When Clomid is successful and results in ovulation, a woman’s fertility chances are between 10 and 13% - which means it typically requires repeat cycles to achieve pregnancy. Your physician or fertility specialist should closely monitor these cycles. If pregnancy isn’t achieved after two or more cycles, doctors typically add other medications to the mix and/or suggest progressive fertility treatment options.
8. It is prescribed for male infertility factor(s), too
While Clomid is widely known to help women who don’t ovulate on their own, or who have irregular ovulation cycles (such as those with PCOS), Clomid is often prescribed for couples where low sperm count is an issue, increasing the number of eggs present to greet the available sperm.
9. Your chances of multiples goes up
Since Clomid results in the release of multiple eggs, your chances of having multiples (twins or triplets…sometimes more) goes up. Working with an experienced fertility specialist who prescribes the right dosage minimizes the risk of higher-order multiples. IVF is another method for limiting the number of babies per pregnancy for optimal mother/baby outcomes.
Bonus Info: Clomid is available through specialty pharmacies
Did you know Clomid is available through specialty pharmacies who exclusively support patients undergoing fertility treatments? If you are considering the use of Clomid or have an existing prescription, consider using Freedom Fertility Pharmacy to facilitate your prescriptions.
The combination of online prescription refills, easy access to our knowledgeable clinicians and savings opportunities enhance your treatment experience.