What is Clomid?
Clomiphene citrate (Clomid) is one fertility treatment drug that has been used since the early 1960s to induce ovulation. Clomid is a nonsteroidal estrogen that results in a more prolonged interaction with the binding proteins for the estrogen receptor. Its behavior is similar to an antiestrogen, and it is believed that this effect regulates and controls the release of regulatory hormones from the hypothalamus that in turn, allows for normal follicle development and ovulation. Clomid is easy to take and is given in pill form for 5 days, usually beginning on day 3 to 5 of the menstrual cycle.
Clomid is typically used today for women with irregular periods or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) who desire to become pregnant. It should not be given to women with ovarian cysts or liver disease unless advised by your doctor. It's important not to consider Clomid as a cure-all for every woman who desires to become pregnant. Investigating the reasons why a woman is not conceiving is important before considering Clomid, since it is not appropriate for all underlying causes of infertility. Of course, investigation of a woman's partner is also important prior to administering any kind of infertility treatment.
What is side effects of Clomid?
Side effects of Clomid can include abnormal vaginal bleeding, headache, breast discomfort, nausea, and vomiting. Since it acts as an antiestrogen, Clomid can also cause thickening of the cervical mucus, which can actually reduce the chances of pregnancy. Some studies have suggested that Clomid may raise ovarian cancer risk, but this has not been conclusively established. Still, most doctors do not treat a woman with more than 6 menstrual cycles of Clomid.
Interestingly, some doctors recommend the use of Clomid in certain men with low testosterone levels and infertility to stimulate sperm production. Men who take Clomid for this purpose need to take it every day, unlike women who take the drug for 5 days only. The dosage and hormone levels of the man are monitored carefully in order to ensure optimum hormonal balance.
Medically reviewed by Wayne Blocker, MD; Board Certified Obstetrics and Gynecology