Clomid (also known as clomiphene citrate, clomiphene, or Serophene) is an inexpensive oral fertility medication. It is often used in the early stages of addressing various reproductive concerns such as irregular ovulation, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), missed or infrequent periods, male infertility issues (where there is a concern with sperm quality) or it can be used in tandem with fertility treatments like intrauterine insemination (IUI).
In certain cases, Clomid is also recommended when there isn’t a clear diagnosis, which is known as unexplained infertility as it has been shown to increase pregnancy rates. In general, depending on your age and situation, Clomid is a “first line of defense” in infertility care.
If you are actively trying to conceive and Dr. Wilcox recommends Clomid as part of your fertility treatment, his clinical team will finalize the timing of your treatment. This is typically based around your last menstrual cycle as it will be timed around ovulation.
The way Clomid specifically works is by stimulating ovulation. It will block your estrogen receptors at something referred to as the hypothalamus. This controls your hormones. When this occurs, the hypothalamus releases follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH), which are naturally occurring in your body as ovarian stimulants.
During your cycles every month, you produce a follicle. Each follicle stores an egg that is released every month. When you take Clomid, it encourages your body to produce more follicles than you would if you were not taking any fertility medication and this means, more eggs. More eggs mean more opportunities to fertilize these eggs, which increases your chance of a pregnancy.
While you’re taking Clomid, you will be monitored regularly to see how the follicles are progressing. You may notice some bloating or discomfort, which is normal. Any concerns however, you should feel comfortable speaking to Dr. Wilcox or his clinical team immediately.
Once the follicles are at an optimum size, that means the eggs are almost mature and it’s time to ovulate. This is either when Dr. Wilcox will recommend timed intercourse or IUI.
Depending on your age and your diagnosis, a limit of three to six Clomid cycles are recommended before moving on to other forms of treatment. In addition, American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends that Clomid be used for no more than six months in general because over time it can have a negative effect on a woman’s cervical mucus as well as your uterine lining, which will make it harder to get pregnant. For women under 35, there is approximately a 30 to 40% percent chance of getting pregnant within 3 Clomid cycles. If you’re over the age of 40 however, Clomid is typically not recommended but you should feel free to discuss this directly with Dr. Wilcox.
The best way to find out whether or not Clomid is your best course of action is to come in for a fertility consultation. There are many paths to parenthood available such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and more. Dr. Wilcox and his entire team are more than happy to help and walk you through each avenue to decide what works best for you!