Clomid, or clomiphene citrate, is a fertility drug used to stimulate the ovaries. It is usually given on the third to seventh day of the cycle, but the first pill can start as early as the second day or as late as the fifth day in the cycle. If a woman is undergoing consecutive treatment cycles or has not had an ultrasound to confirm the absence of persistent cysts, she should have an ultrasound prior to using these medications.
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FAQs About Clomid
How Does Chlomid Work?
Clomid keeps the cells in the hypothalamus from detecting the amount of estrogen present in the blood. When the hypothalamus senses a lack of estrogen, it responds by releasing messages to the pituitary gland to release high amounts follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). The function of FSH is to initiate the growth of ovarian follicles.
When Chlomid is administered, the LH will spontaneously rise. However, to ensure that ovulation actually occurs, human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) is sometimes given. HCG is a hormone produced during pregnancy that is similar to LH. A woman is given hCG on day 12 of an optimally stimulated clomiphene cycle to ensure that ovulation occurs even if the pituitary gland does not initiate its own LH surge.
How is Clomiphene Taken?
Clomiphene is taken orally for five days during the early menstrual cycle. It can be started as early as the second day or as late as the fifth day of the menstrual cycle.
What Are The Side Effects of Clomiphene?
The most common side effects are hot flashes, minor visual disturbances, headaches, irritability and anxiety. In some cases, your period may be lighter or heavier than usual, and your cycles may be longer or shorter than usual. The side effects are temporary and subside once clomiphene is stopped. Ovarian cysts may develop and remain for four to six weeks once a woman stops taking clomiphene, but these cysts are usually harmless. Very rarely, a large number of cysts will develop because of high estrogen levels. This is referred to as the Hyperstimulation Syndrome and rarely occurs with clomiphene use.
How Common Are Multiple Births with Clomiphene?
There is a higher multiple birth rate in women who conceive following clomiphene citrate therapy (5 to 10 percent) than in the rest of the population. In most cases, the multiple pregnancies are twins. The risk of having twins in women who do not take any fertility drugs is about 1.2 percent.
Does Clomiphene Cause Birth Defects?
Clomiphene has never been incriminated in causing the development of birth defects in humans.
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Clomid Plus Intrauterine Insemination
Clomid taken in conjunction with intrauterine insemination has an 8 to 10 percent success rate per cycle for unexplained infertility of three years duration, an 8 percent chance of multiples, and cost $1,000 on average. Side effects of clomid are usually mild and include the possibility of mood changes, hot flashes, headaches, vaginal dryness or thinning of the endometrial lining. If you experience visual disturbances such as spots, contact your physician and discontinue the medication.
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