Clomid and premature birth are often heard in the same conversation, but technically Clomid is not associated with premature births.
Basic Clomid Information
Clomid is a brand name of Clomiphene Citrate, the most commonly prescribed ovulation stimulant drug. Clomid is fairly successful -- up to 30 percent of the women who use Clomid are able to conceive. Women who only have absent or infrequent ovulation cycles versus other infertility issues have a much higher success rate with Clomid -- up to 75 percent.
Clomid works by stimulating follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH and luteinizing hormone (LH). These are simply fancy names for hormones that women need to get pregnant. Clomid helps to trigger secretion of these hormones and the end result is ovarian stimulation, ovarian follicle maturation, and corpus luteum development.
Clomid is not one of the safer drugs in town. Side effects are rampant as are adverse reactions.
Some side effects include fatigue, dizziness, anxiety, hot flashes, headaches, and more. Adverse reactions of Clomid can be serious, including abdominal pain, ovarian cysts, hair loss, ectopic pregnancy, vision problems, and possibly cancer.
Clomid is always contradicted in pregnant women or in women who experience vaginal bleeding (undiagnosed), depression, kidney problems, and a host of other issues. Because of this, anyone even thinking about taking Clomid should have a full medical exam. It can be prescribed without one, but it's better to have an in-depth exam to avoid complications.
To read a full list of Clomid side effects, contradictions, and adverse reactions, check out WebMD's page on Clomiphene Citrate.
Are Clomid and Premature Birth Corresponding Issues?
Clomid and premature birth are not related in any direct way. "Direct way" means that premature birth is not an indicated side effect or adverse reaction of the drug Clomid. Simply by taking a Clomid pill, a woman is not increasing her chances of having a premature birth. There are many direct side effects of Clomid, but premature birth just isn't one of them.
The entire Clomid and premature birth issue likely comes into focus because Clomid can cause multiple births. When Clomid results in multiple births, it tends to result in twin births, not triplets and beyond.
With multiple births, there is always an added chance of premature birth when compared to single baby births. Some think that this can be blamed on Clomid, but no study has ever proved that. It may be a 'what came first situation - the chicken or the egg.' For example, there are numerous issues that have been scientifically studied and are known to increase instances of, or cause, premature birth. Many of those issues are related to infertility.
Some issues that are known to be related to premature birth include:
- A previous history of premature birth or miscarriage.
- Uterine or cervical problems or abnormalities.
- Uterine tract infections.
- Chronic diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, chronic STDs, and more.
Many of these issues above are obviously related to conception problems as well as premature birth. Additionally, a woman who takes longer than a year to conceive a baby will also have an increased risk of having a premature birth. A recent study reported that women who have trouble conceiving are about 40 percent more likely to have a premature birth with or without fertility drugs.
Basically, it might look like Clomid is at fault for a premature birth. But a woman who is taking Clomid may have already been susceptible to premature birth.
While Clomid is unrelated to premature birth, delivering a premature baby is still a serious issue. Babies born too early are at a greater risk of numerous complications. American Pregnancy has a great resource for premature birth that covers risk factors, prevention tactics, how to help avoid premature birth by making health changes early in pregnancy, and life style factors that increase risk and more.