Couples trying to conceive may believe that a link between male fertility and Clomid can help them finally achieve a pregnancy.
Clomiphine citrate, the generic name for the prescription drug Clomid, is generally used to treat fertility problems in women who are trying to conceive. It is often prescribed after a woman has tried unsuccessfully for several months to get pregnant, especially if the fertility problem is caused by a lack of ovulation. The drug works by adjusting the amount of hormones in the women's body and creating a good environment for ovulation. Clomid may also cause the ovulation of extra eggs, which increases the chances that at least one egg will get fertilized during the cycle. This also increases the change of having a multiple birth.
Despite its years of proven success, Clomid is not for everyone as it has some serious side effects. First, long-term use of Clomid can actually cause some problems with fertility and may also increase the risk of ovarian cancer. It can also trigger vision problems, hot flashes, vomiting, and mood swings. It's important to follow your doctor's advice about taking Clomid carefully and to be aware of the possible side effects.
Causes of Male Infertility
Although we hear a lot about female infertility problems, men can also have medical conditions that make it difficult to conceive. Male fertility can be hampered by certain medications, injury to the reproductive system, sperm problems like low counts or lack of motility, or a varicocele in a testicle. In some cases, radiation or chemotherapy for treatment of cancer can also make conception more difficult.
The Link between Male Fertility and Clomid
Although Clomid is typically used for women with fertility problems, recent studies have indicated that male fertility and Clomid might be a good combination.
Stimulating the pituitary gland in men who have either a low sperm count or sperm with poor motility can increase the production of good sperm. Since Clomid increases the effect of the pituitary gland on male hormones, it makes sense that treating male fertility with Clomid may work. In fact, a study by the World Health Organization in the early 1990s showed that there is an increase in the production of sperm by men taking Clomid.
But, the study stops there. Although the sperm production was increased in men who were treated with Clomid, those men were no more likely to conceive with their partners than men who were taking a placebo. So, although the evidence is there to support a relationship between male fertility and Clomid, more research needs to be done to determine if this is a worthwhile treatment.
Other Treatment for Male Infertility
For men with fertility issues, there are several proven treatment options that can increase your chances of conceiving:
- Surgery: A simple procedure can sometimes fix blockages and varicoceles that are preventing ejaculation.
- Medications: Prescription drugs, like Tamoxifen and antibiotics, may treat hormone irregularities and increase the body's ability to make sperm.
- In vitro fertilization: In this procedure, collected sperm is combined with eggs in a lab that are later implanted directly in a women's uterus.
- Intrauterine insemination: Also known as artificial insemination, this procedure involves injecting sperm into a woman's uterus when she ovulates.
Although the possibility of increasing male fertility with Clomid exists, there are many other proven options that work better. Your doctor can advise you on other methods and can help you pick the right way to conceive for you and your family.