Clomid has been successfully used to treat infertility for more than 50 years, which makes it one of the safest and long-lived fertility treatment medications on the market. However, it’s not for everyone.
Officially known as clomiphene citrate (also Serophene), the FDA approved Clomid for use as an oral, non-steroidal fertility treatment in 1967. It has reasonably high success rates when prescribed correctly for the right infertility diagnosis. So if you’re struggling to get pregnant by timing conception at home, or you experience irregular periods, accurate infertility diagnosis is essential before taking Clomid to treat infertility.
How Does Clomid Treat Infertility?
Clomid is an oral fertility medication, provided in 50 mg, doses, timed with a woman’s menstrual cycle. It interacts with the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and ovary to begin ovarian stimulation. One of the main benefits of using Clomid for women with irregular ovulation patterns is that Clomid is much less expensive than injectable fertility medications. As a result, it is considered a first-line fertility medication.
Clomiphene citrate supports healthy fertility hormone balance
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), estrogen, and luteinizing hormone (LH) are three key players in the female fertility and ovulation equation.
- Clomid stimulates the secretion of FSH, triggering the maturation of one or more eggs (follicles).
- It also increases estrogen production and often more progesterone production.
- Increases in estrogen levels trigger a surge of LH, causing the release of an – or more than one egg – depending on the dosage and your ovaries.
When prescribed to women who don’t ovulate (anovulation) or who ovulate irregularly and don’t have anatomical or other infertility issues, Clomid is a successful treatment. Studies show about 80% of women ovulate with Clomid, and about 10% to 13% get pregnant each cycle. So, in a three-cycle run (the fertility treatment standard before pursuing other treatment options), roughly 30% to 35% get pregnant.
Should I Try Clomid To Get Pregnant?
You may be a good candidate to try Clomid to get pregnant if you:
Have tried to get pregnant for 12 consecutive months without success.
It’s very normal to try to get pregnant without success for months at a time. The average length of time it takes for women to get pregnant is three to six months, and it’s not uncommon for it to take up to a year. You should be concerned if:
- If you’re 35 years or less, and you’ve timed intercourse successfully (see next) for 12 consecutive months without getting pregnant.
- If you’re 36-39, check in with your OB/GYN at the six-month mark.
- If you’re 40+, give it three months and then discuss options with your physician or schedule a fertility consultation.
Before and during the time you try to get pregnant, you and your partner should also do all you can to quit any bad habits that might negatively impact fertility while doing all you can to boost fertility chances.
Time intercourse correctly for 12 consecutive months without getting pregnant.
The media spreads misinformation by showing women who are ovulating and needing to have sex that very minute. That’s not how it works. If you wait until you ovulate to have sex, chances are you may be too late.
Timing intercourse correctly to maximize fertility at home means establishing your optimal fertility window over the course of several months. This includes tracking periods and symptoms using fertility apps and at-home ovulation prediction kits (OPKs). The scientific reality is sperm live longer than eggs. So it’s better to have sex in the days leading up to ovulation – and ovulation day – to maximize the number of sperm ready to meet the egg.
Don’t ovulate regularly (irregular periods)
We can’t emphasize enough that irregular periods are never normal. No period means no ovulation (or pregnancy). The best candidates to use Clomid for treating infertility are those that have ovulation issues without any other significant health issues or infertility diagnoses related to anatomical abnormalities or scarring that block fertilization or implantation.
One of the most common causes of anovulation (irregular or no ovulation) and infertility is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). There are some standard physical markers for PCOS, including irregular or absent periods, heavier weight in the middle, male hair patterns (thinner hair on top, extra hair on face/chest/arms or back), mood swings, and an abundance of cysts on the ovaries (identified via ultrasound).
However, there’s another form of PCOS, called “skinny PCOS,” and women with this type don’t have all the significant PCOS markers. A complete physical, including hormone level testing (women with PCOS typically have higher male hormone – androgen – levels), and ultrasound, should be used to rule it out.
Accurate PCOS diagnosis is key when seeking fertility treatment. Using injectable fertility medications without precise supervision puts you at risk of having high-order multiples pregnancies (four or more babies at once), which is dangerous for the mother and her babies.
In addition to Clomid, letrozole is effective to induce ovulation in women with PCOS and may even be the first fertility medication to try before Clomid.
Have a partner with a healthy sperm count
Clomid can help you get pregnant if he has a low sperm count – especially when paired with IUI. However, it will do nothing if sperm testing results show no sperm or very poor moving/shaped sperm.
All too often, the responsibility for fertility is placed on the female, even though men and women have equal rates of infertility factors. Sperm testing is very affordable and may even be covered by your insurance. Consider having your partner’s sperm tested before starting fertility treatment to save yourself months of potentially wasted time and effort when fertility support is needed from the get-go.
Are okay with having twins
The goal of any fertility treatment is for the mother to have a single, healthy baby. Twins, triplets, and higher orders of multiples put you in the high-risk pregnancy category. However, taking Clomid to get pregnant elevates the risk of conceiving twins and (very rare) triplets if the dose causes more than one egg to release.
Interested In Using Clomid For Treating Fertility?
An accurate infertility diagnosis is essential before pursuing any fertility medications or additional treatments. Schedule a consultation with Northern California Fertility Medical Center if you’re struggling to get pregnant and interested in learning more about using Clomid to get pregnant. We are committed to using the least invasive fertility treatment methods, personalized for each of our patients’ diagnoses and needs.