Information and day-to-day changes for women taking one of the most commonly used fertility drugs.
When a woman is not ovulating regularly, the first line of fertility treatment is usually clomiphene citrate, also known as Clomid or Serophene. “Clomiphene is like hitting the reset button on a woman’s cycle,” says William D. Schlaff, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology and chief of reproductive endocrinology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, and immediate past president of the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.
Clomiphene citrate–a pill–works by blocking estrogen receptors in the brain, tricking the body into thinking it’s low in estrogen. In turn, the brain releases follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) to kick start the ovaries, which secrete estrogen. Clomiphene can be very helpful – in women who respond, roughly two-thirds will get pregnant within a year. However, it won’t work in women who are already low in estrogen (because of anorexia, menopause, or a tumor, for example).
About half to two-thirds of couples with fertility challenges will be treated with clomiphene at some point, says Dr. Schlaff. The usual starting dose is about 50 mg, taken for about five days. Some women – about ten to fifteen percent – will experience hot flashes, and in general the drug shouldn’t be taken for more than six months or so at a time, because most women who will get pregnant on it will do so within that time frame. There is also about a five to ten percent risk of a twin pregnancy.
Clomid Day by Day
If you do ovulate but didn’t get pregnant the month before, estrogen and progesterone will decrease, causing the thickened uterine lining (or endometrium) to shed as menstrual blood.
If you ovulate, you will probably start taking clomiphene at this time. If you don’t ovulate, you can start taking it any day. The usual starting dose is about 50 mg.
Clomiphene, blocking the estrogen receptors, will cause the pituitary gland to release follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), which cause the ovaries to begin developing several follicles, each one containing an egg. The ovaries start secreting estrogen, which spurs the endometrium to thicken in readiness for a fertilized egg.