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Clomid

Clomid

Clomid is a commonly used medicine that can prompt the ovaries to produce eggs if a woman has fertility problems. It blocks the production of oestrogen, which stimulates the hormones that help to grow and mature a woman’s eggs that need to join with a man’s sperm for her to get pregnant. These hormones are FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone), and when they tell the ovaries to produce the eggs the eggs are then released via ovulation.   Ovulation is when a woman’s body releases an egg which may be fertilised by a man´s sperm. The egg travels down the fallopian tube and if met by the sperm the two can join, the sperm can fertilise the egg and the woman becomes pregnant.  When a woman ovulates she is at her most fertile and most likely to get pregnant. This usually happens once a month. Sperm can live inside a woman´s body after intercourse, and for a lot longer than the egg lives, which is usually only 12-24 hours. This is the time period when the egg is referred to as being viable.   However, sometimes, even though a woman has plenty of eggs, they are not released naturally every month. This is when Clomid can help as it stimulates ovulation and therefore increases the opportunity for a woman to get pregnant.  There is a possibility of conceiving multiple pregnancies eg twins when taking Clomid to assist ovulation as the body is making more eggs so there is an increased risk of two eggs fertilising. Studies have shown that this possibility can be up to 10%, but this will depend on the woman’s individual health situation.   A doctor cannot predict whether a woman will conceive twins, triplets or even more children, but a specialist in this field may be able to minimise the risk of multiple conception by amending the dose. This should only be done by a qualified professional and Clomid should not be taken as a way of definitely conceiving twins as this can be a high-risk pregnancy.  You may not get pregnant immediately after your first course of Clomid and you should not worry as this is common. However, you must not take more than six courses of this medication as it could be harmful to your health if taken long-term. 

Clomid is the brand name for the medicine clomiphene citrate which is used to treat fertility problems.  

Clomid is often the first choice of medication that doctors prescribe to a woman who is having problems getting pregnant.  

This is a prescription-only medication and comes in the form of a tablet that is taken as advised by your doctor. It is much less invasive than other fertility treatments. You should not take more than six cycles of Clomid.  

What is Clomid? 

Clomid is a commonly used medicine that can prompt the ovaries to produce eggs if a woman has fertility problems. It blocks the production of oestrogen, which stimulates the hormones that help to grow and mature a woman’s eggs that need to join with a man’s sperm for her to get pregnant. These hormones are FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone), and when they tell the ovaries to produce the eggs the eggs are then released via ovulation.  

Ovulation is when a woman’s body releases an egg which may be fertilised by a man´s sperm. The egg travels down the fallopian tube and if met by the sperm the two can join, the sperm can fertilise the egg and the woman becomes pregnant. 

When a woman ovulates she is at her most fertile and most likely to get pregnant. This usually happens once a month. Sperm can live inside a woman´s body after intercourse, and for a lot longer than the egg lives, which is usually only 12-24 hours. This is the time period when the egg is referred to as being viable.  

However, sometimes, even though a woman has plenty of eggs, they are not released naturally every month. This is when Clomid can help as it stimulates ovulation and therefore increases the opportunity for a woman to get pregnant. 

There is a possibility of conceiving multiple pregnancies eg twins when taking Clomid to assist ovulation as the body is making more eggs so there is an increased risk of two eggs fertilising. Studies have shown that this possibility can be up to 10%, but this will depend on the woman’s individual health situation.  

A doctor cannot predict whether a woman will conceive twins, triplets or even more children, but a specialist in this field may be able to minimise the risk of multiple conception by amending the dose. This should only be done by a qualified professional and Clomid should not be taken as a way of definitely conceiving twins as this can be a high-risk pregnancy. 

You may not get pregnant immediately after your first course of Clomid and you should not worry as this is common. However, you must not take more than six courses of this medication as it could be harmful to your health if taken long-term. 

When is Clomid used? 

Sometimes a woman is unable to get pregnant naturally and so Clomid can help her by stimulating the production of her eggs. This increases her chances of getting pregnant.  

A woman may have fertility problems due to: 

  • Irregular ovulation – when a woman is not sure when she is ovulating; 
  • She menstruates but does not ovulate; 
  • Unexplained infertility – there is no explanation for why a woman cannot conceive. 

Clomid is commonly used as an alternative to other fertility treatments that are costly and more complex and most often require injections. One tablet is taken every day for 5 days during the menstrual cycle, on the advice of your doctor. 

This medication can also be used if the male partner has fertility problems. If the woman takes Clomid to increase her egg production (even if it is normal) and the man has a low sperm count, it can assist in the stimulation of more eggs that will be available to greet the sperm. This gives a higher possibility of the sperm fertilizing an egg and the woman becoming pregnant. 

Clomid should always be taken on the advice of a doctor. 

How do you use Clomid? 

If you are having problems getting pregnant and your doctor prescribes you Clomid to stimulate egg production you must take it according to the doctor’s instructions. 

The usual procedure to take Clomid is: 

  • Your period starts (not spotting but full menstruation); 
  • After either three days or five days of your period beginning (depending on your doctor’s advice) you take one Clomid tablet per day for five days; 
  • You should take the tablet at the same time every day, whole with a drink of water (never chew or crush the tablet); 
  • You are likely to ovulate between 5-10 days after you have taken your last Clomid tablet. You can check this by using an ovulation prediction test or recording your body temperature.  
  • When you are ovulating you should have intercourse as the egg will only be available for a very small window of time each month. 

You are not more likely to get pregnant if you take Clomid on either day 3 or day 5 of your menstrual cycle; different doctors suggest different dates depending on their opinions. 

Clomid can be taken with or without food.  

Some women find taking this medication last thing at night minimises the side effects as they sleep through them, although these are usually minimal. 

No more than three to six courses of Clomid should be taken as there have been rare reports of ovarian cancer occurring with the prolonged use of clomifene. Therefore, you should not take this medicine for a period of more than six months. If taking Clomid has not helped you to get pregnant you should talk to your doctor about the alternatives. 

You should never take more Clomid than your doctor has prescribed in an attempt to get pregnant quicker or produce more eggs as it does not work like this and doing so could be dangerous to your health. 

What dosages are there? 

The most common dosage is one 50 mg tablet once a day for five days, on either day 3 or 5 of your menstrual cycle, depending on what your doctor advises.  

You should not take Clomid tablets for more than five days. 

It is important to take the tablet at the same time every day so it has the maximum effect. 

If you do not ovulate after the first course of Clomid your doctor may prescribe more than one tablet per day. It is very important you only take more than one tablet on the advice of your doctor – do not increase your dose yourself. 

If you forget to take a Clomid tablet you should talk to your doctor as they may need to change your treatment programme. You should not take an extra tablet to make up for the one you have missed. 

No more than three-six courses of Clomid should be taken. 

What are the side effects of Clomid? 

The most common side effects of taking Clomid are usually mild. It is unlikely to cause serious side effects. The mild side effects that you could experience when taking this medication include: 

  • Nausea; 
  • Hot flushes; 
  • A disturbed sleep pattern; 
  • Tender breasts; 
  • Bloating; 
  • Headaches; 
  • Dizziness; 
  • Stomach upset; 
  • Changes in vision (blurred vision, spots or flashing). 

If you experience any of the above when taking Clomid and are at all concerned you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist. 

When shouldn’t you use Clomid? 

Do not use Clomid if you are allergic to any of the ingredients listed in the package leaflet. 

Do not use this medicine if you have: 

  • Ovarian cysts; 
  • Liver disease; 
  • Fibroids; 
  • Blocked fallopian tubes; 
  • A cancer that is sensitive to hormones; 
  • A pituitary gland condition; 
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding. 

You should advise your doctor about any other medication you are taking or any medical conditions you have or have had before taking Clomid. 

You should not take this medicine if you are pregnant. Before taking Clomid it is advisable to have a pregnancy test if there is any chance you could be pregnant. 

If you are breastfeeding you should not take clomid as it can reduce the amount of milk your body produces. 

You should not take this medicine if you have gone through the menopause as it will not make your fertility return. Once you have experienced the menopause you can no longer have children. 

It is advisable to limit your alcohol intake when taking Clomid. It is safe to drive or operate machinery when taking Clomid unless it makes you feel dizzy or disturbs your vision. 

Does Clomid interact with other medications? 

Yes, Clomid can interact with other medications so it is essential you inform your doctor of any other medicines you are taking, including herbal medicines. Other medications could affect how Clomid works for you. 

Where can you buy Clomid? 

Clomid is a prescription-only medicine and is not available over-the-counter. You must obtain a prescription from your doctor to buy Clomid. You must be counselled and be seeing a fertility specialist whilst taking this medication. 

Can I get Clomid without a prescription?  

No, you must have a prescription to take Clomid. 

Sources 

PACKAGE LEAFLET: INFORMATION FOR THE USER Clomid® 50mg Tablets clomifene citrate. October, 2012. Retrieved 15 February, 2020 from https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/docomimg2.s3.amazonaws.com/leaflets/en/patient_information_leaflet-3807-clomid-uk.pdf-1510756509.pdf 

Clomid Tablet. (N.D.). Retrieved 15 February, 2020 from https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-11204/clomid-oral/details 

Hughes E, Collins J, Vandekerckhove P. 2000. Clomiphene citrate for unexplained subfertility in women. Retrieved 15 February, 2020 from https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD000057/full 

Gurevich, R. 22 January, 2020. The Facts About Clomid. Retrieved 15 February, 2020 from https://www.verywellfamily.com/clomid-treatment-101-1960183 

Saint Mary’s Hospital Department of Reproductive Medicine. Clomid. Information for Patients. October 2015. Retrieved 15 February, 2020 from https://mft.nhs.uk/app/uploads/sites/4/2018/04/13-05-Clomid-October-2013.pdf