When getting pregnant seems like a distant dream, Clomid, also known as clomiphine, may be the key to making those dreams a reality. Clomid is one of the most popular fertility drugs available on the market today.
How Clomid Works
Clomiphine citrate, which is marketed as Clomid and Serophine, is a medication designed to act as an anti-estrogen agent. In effect, it creates conditions that stimulate the ovaries to produce more eggs and follicles during the days immediately preceding ovulation. Best of all, Clomid is taken orally, meaning no injections.
Side Effects and Limitations
You should know that Clomid will not solve every fertility problem. It is designed to help women who have ovulation problems. It will not help if the male has a low sperm count, or the woman has other reproduction problems, such as blocked fallopian tubes or a condition called Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOS). For this reason, your doctor should do a thorough fertility examination to eliminate other possible reasons why you have not been able to get pregnant. You will want to remain under medical care while taking clomiphene, to ensure the medication is doing its job and to ensure you are not suffering from additional reproductive medical problems.
Additionally, as with most medications, clomiphine does come with possible side effects and risks:
- Extreme mood swings (most common)
- Hostile or dry cervical mucus that may kill sperm
- Thinning of the uterine lining, which makes it more difficult for the egg to become implanted and can lead to a miscarriage
- Hot flashes
- Breast tenderness
- Increased risk of ovarian hyperstimulation, which can lead to cyst eruptions and enlarged ovaries
- Multiple gestation pregnancies
Clomid is one of the more affordable fertility medications and it is also available as a generic drug. Normally, Clomid is taken five days per menstrual cycle. A five-day supply of a single dose costs less than $50. Of course, if the doctor prescribes a larger dosage, your cost would rise exponentially. Some health insurance plans cover a portion of the cost, so review your policy documents carefully if you are considering taking Clomid fertility medication.
What Else Can I Do?
Since clomidiphine is taken to help regulate ovulation, the best thing you can do is to carefully track your ovulation cycle by charting your basal body temperature or using an ovulation kit.
More than likely, the doctor will start you out on a very low dose of Clomid. If further testing convinces him you are not ovulating regularly, he will probably increase the dosage of Clomid before recommending more different fertility methods. If you are ovulating but experience no increase in luteinizing hormones (LH), then he may recommend an injection of human menopausal gonadotropin (HCG). HCG acts like LH and can stimulate egg maturation. Women will typically ovulate in about 36 hours from the time of the LH surge or HCG injection. Other options may include in vitro fertilization.
When it seems like Mother Nature has short changed you in the fertility department, Clomid may be able to improve your chance of conceiving a child.