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Taking Clomid to Achieve Pregnancy

Katlyn Joy |10, December 2013


Women who have trouble ovulating may find help with the prescription fertility medication Clomid, or clomiphene citrate. The medication works by changing hormone levels in a woman's body, allowing for ovulation to occur.

Those with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) should look into taking a combination of clomid and metformin. Metformim is a diabetes medication. Studies have shown positive outcomes for women taking the combination of medicines. A study announced at the 69th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in October 2013 concluded that compared to either drug alone, taking both medications resulted in ovulation more often — 63.6 percent of the time. Taking Clomid alone resulted in ovulation 62. 5 percent of the time, and metformim alone only 35.7 percent of the time.

Women who have amenorrhea-galactorrhea syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, psychogenic amenorrhea, women who have amenorrhea after taking birth control pills, and secondary amenorrhea are likely to have success with Clomid.

Precautions to Consider Before Taking Clomid

Some women may not be good candidates for Clomid treatment, or may only use it under careful supervision such as those with:

  • Liver disease. It can worsen liver disease.
  • Blood clots or inflamed veins.
  • Those with a history of depression should take Clomid under a doctor's supervision if at all due to concerns about mood swings from hormonal changes resulting from use of the drug.
  • Fibroid tumors or endometriosis can experience worse changes in their conditions.
  • Ovarian conditions such as enlarged ovaries or cysts on ovaries can contradict treatment with the drug.

Benefits of Using Clomid

Clomid is relatively inexpensive, especially when compared with other infertility treatments. It also can be pursued once a woman's irregular cycles have been reestablished. This means no invasive fertility tests need be undertaken by your doctor before prescription.

Generally women are not followed up with ultrasounds, blood testing or other types of testing at the physician's office.
About 80 percent of women who take Clomid will ovulate, and up to 40 percent of all women who take up to 3 cycles of the drug will become pregnant.

How To Use Clomid

Most women will take a 50 mg. pill on day 3, 4 or 5 of their cycle and continue taking a pill daily for five consecutive days. If women have not had periods, sometimes she will be put on progestin medication to induce menstruation although this may not be necessary.

Ovulation typically occurs somewhere between day 14 and 19. Most women will be instructed to take a home ovulation predictor test or get a blood test to confirm ovulation has occurred. Occasionally, some physicians will use an ultrasound to check on the size and number of developing follicles in the ovaries.

If a woman did not ovulate, her dosage may be increased. If she doesn't get pregnant after 6 cycles but she is ovulating, further testing may be needed to check for other issues causing infertility.

Women are encouraged to achieve a healthy weight, as overweight and obese women have lower success rates with Clomid. Women who work out excessively, have eating disorders or are underweight often have suppressed normal monthly cycles.

Side Effects

Mild side effects include:

  • dizziness
  • bloating
  • stomach pain
  • visual changes

Less common side effects include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • yellowing of eyes
  • restlessness
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • moodiness
  • breast tenderness
  • heavy periods.

Risks Associated with Taking Clomid

Birth defects

According to the Mayo Clinic, it is important that you discontinue use of the medication if you may be pregnant, as Clomid may cause birth defects.

Vision problems

Sometimes visual problems such as blurred vision, seeing spots or flashes can occur. Should this happen, the medication should be stopped and an ophthalmologist should be seen as soon as possible.

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

Another risk with taking Clomid is the development of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome which can become a serious complication. To avoid this from happening, it is necessary to take the lowest possible dose to achieve pregnancy.

Become pregnant with twins or multiples

Becoming pregnant with twins is a possibility as well. Women taking the drug have a 6 percent chance of having twins, while .5 percent have triplets or more.

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