If you’re struggling to conceive, you may have been offered clomid by your doctor. Clomid is a common fertility drug but how does it help fertility? Are there any side effects to clomid? Who can use clomid? And how well does clomid work? Here is everything you need to know

So, what is Clomid? How does it work?

Clomid (or Clomiphene Citrate) is a drug used to help women ovulate.

It is an oestrogen-like hormone that acts on the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and ovary to increase levels of FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone) to help you ovulate to produce one or more eggs in a cycle.

It helps around 80% of women ovulate, although a few women may be resistant to the medication and would need to discuss other ovulation induction methods, such as Letrozole or Tamoxifen, with their doctor.

Who is Clomid suitable for?

Clomid can help you to ovulate more regularly, enabling you to better predict the days you’ll be most fertile, so that you can have sex on those days.

It’s used as a first step when trying to conceive and is also used for women who have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

Finally, it can be used for ovulation induction in conjunction with IUI (not IVF), as a second line treatment, in which good quality sperm are selected to enter the womb in conjunction with induced ovulation.

Who is Clomid not suitable for?

The drug is suitable for the majority of women but if you have been diagnosed with blocked fallopian tubes on both sides or your partner has a very abnormal sperm test, then this medication would not be suitable for you. It would be important to have these aspects addressed before taking clomid.

How can you get Clomid?

The medication is only available on prescription and therefore needs to be prescribed by a doctor.

Please don’t buy Clomid off the internet as this can be very dangerous. When you are taking the drug it is very important that you are monitored carefully by a doctor.

How do you take Clomid?

Your doctor will prescribe the best dose for you but this is generally 50mg daily for 5 days, day 2 or 3 until day 6 or 7. In some circumstances your doctor may advise increasing this dose but it is very important that you don’t do this yourself.

For safety reasons, Clomid can only be taken for 3-6 months.

What are the side effects of Clomid?

The majority of women tolerate the medication very well, however in rare cases, it may cause the following symptoms:

  • Ovarian hyper-stimulation (OHSS) – where your ovaries become enlarged which can cause abdominal discomfort. In severe cases OHSS can be dangerous and even life threatening.
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Hot flushes
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision

The majority of these side effects are rare but this illustrates the point on why it is so important NOT to buy the medication online and to make sure you receive regular monitoring from your doctor.

The medication can also increase your chances of having a multiple pregnancy by 8%.

Success rates

80% of women will ovulate with the medication and around 10-12% will conceive per cycle. The conception rate may seem a little low but it’s important to view this success rate with IVF success rate (live birth) which is 29% for women under 35, 35 to 40 this ranges from 23-15% and 40-42 9%

Even if you are receiving treatment for ovulation induction, it’s really important to do all you can to give yourself the best chance of getting pregnant and get pregnancy ready by having a healthy lifestyle, particularly not smoking or drinking alcohol, enjoying a healthy balanced diet and taking the right supplements for you.