IVF Babble

Clomid – otherwise known as the occasionally hellish hormonal infertility equivalent of an M&M

by Jennifer ‘Jay’ Palumbo

Ah, Clomid. When I look back on my infertility journey, Clomid was the equivalent of hormonally hell filled M&M’s without the chocolate (and it doesn’t melt either in your mouth or your hands either)

We were not friends. Hot flashes. Double vision. Yelling at my husband for breathing audibly. My ovaries also sent me a mental message that read, “Bitch – What the hell are you doing to us?”

However, Clomid can be helpful

There are just some factors to consider (age, how long you should be on it, etc.), as well as when you should break up with this oral medication. I suggest something along the lines of, “It’s not uterus. It’s me-terus.”

Why physicians may prescribe Clomid

If you’ve been trying to conceive for a while and not having any luck, doctors will often prescribe Clomid as a first line of defense against infertility. So, for example, let’s say you have irregular menstrual cycles, Clomid can help to stabilize your cycle, creating an improved ovulatory response. Getting Aunt Flo back in sync (so to speak) can allow for timed intercourse or intrauterine insemination (IUI). Clomid may also suggest Clomid for men (no, really) if they have a low sperm count or quality. Clomid may also be recommended in cases of unexplained infertility.

How does Clomid nudge your ovaries?

Clomid stimulates ovulation by blocking estrogen receptors at the hypothalamus, which controls hormones in the body. What does this mean? Clomid is nagging your ovaries. It’s going in and saying, “Hey! Stop holding out and release the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH) so she can ovulate, will you?” When beginning a course of Clomid, your doctor will finalize the timing of your treatment according to your last period. During this time, you may notice some bloating or discomfort during intercourse (if you are feeling even remotely interested in sex that is).

Is Clomid right for me?

This is an important question. For women under 35, there is approximately a 30 – 40% chance of getting pregnant within three Clomid cycles. Although there are instances where women between the ages of 35 – 40 have conceived within one or two cycles, if you’re over 40, Clomid may not be the drug for you. Medical professionals agree that age can hurt the effectiveness of Clomid. It’s also worth noting that if Clomid can impact your uterine lining and possibly even create the production of abnormal eggs. It’s a fine line.
Exploring Other Options for Fertility Treatment

Clomid success rate by age is a bit of a complicated issue

However, if you’re over the age of 35 and still haven’t had success within two to three cycles of Clomid, you might want to think about exploring other options.

There are a variety of treatments available with degrees of medical intervention. For example, you may wish to try different combinations of fertility medication that include injectables or consider whether it’s time to consider IVF.

Ultimately, speaking to your doctor about the C-Word (ahem) is your best bet to working out what’s right for you.

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