This article has been medically reviewed by Dr. Gary Levy, Reproductive Endocrinologist specializing in the treatment of fertility and complex reproductive disorders with Fertility Cloud.
What is Clomid? Will it improve my chances of getting pregnant? Those are questions you might be asking if you are struggling to conceive, and you are looking for ways to improve your chances of seeing that BFP (Big Fat Positive). Clomid is the most prescribed fertility drug in the world, and it is often the first fertility treatment doctors suggest their patients try. So, in this article, we are going to unpack all the information you need to know if you are considering taking Clomid.
What is Clomid and How does it work?
Clomid, also known as Clomiphene Citrate, is an oral medication prescribed by a doctor. It is intended for people assigned female at birth who either do not ovulate regularly, or for those who need to increase their odds of getting pregnant.
The medication works by tricking the brain into thinking your estrogen levels are lower than they are. This causes your body to increase its production of the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and the luteinizing hormone (LH) - which then stimulates the growth of follicles. The goal is for ovulation induction – the growth of one follicle – for those with ovulation disorders and ovarian stimulation – the development of multiple follicles -for those with other reproductive disorders such as male factor or unexplained infertility
Who Should not Take Clomid?
Clomid may not be an effective option for people with:
- Blocked fallopian tubes
- Low ovarian reserve or significant age-related fertility decline
Clomid Success Rates
Success rates with Clomid vary depending on several factors including age, and the cause associated with your subfertility. For example, the probability of success w decreases with advancing age due to decreasing egg quality.. But if your subfertility is due to ovulatory dysfunction, success rates with Clomid are much higher. Up to 80 percent of patients will ovulate on Clomid.
However, there is a discrepancy between ovulation and pregnancy rates in people taking Clomid.. There have been quite a few studies over the years on Clomid – and pregnancy rates. The average success rate lands at about 30-percent over several cycles – depending on your diagnosis
When it comes to people with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) - a 2014 study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed a 27.4 percent pregnancy rate for people assigned female at birth who used Clomid and timed intercourse for up to 5 cycles.
Success rates are also affected by whether or not you use Clomid on its own, or in combination with fertility treatments - like intrauterine insemination (IUI), or in vitro fertilization (IVF). One study showed a 10-percent chance of pregnancy with Clomid during an IUI cycle.The people who had success at that rate were under 35, had open fallopian tubes, and there were no male infertility issues.
Can Men Take Clomid?
Yes, people assigned male at birth can safely take Clomid, but should they? There have been a few studies reviewing the impact of Clomid on male infertility caused by low sperm production and sperm motility issues.
The results were mixed – some of the studies did show a moderate improvement in sperm count in males with low sperm count, motility, or unexplained infertility. While other studies saw little to no improvement or increased rate of pregnancy with Clomid. Currently, Clomid is being used as a first line agent in people assigned male at birth with a normal systemic evaluation who have a low sperm count.
Side effects of Clomid
One of the reasons that Clomid is so commonly prescribed is because the side effects are typically mild in most people. But they do exist and just like any medication, you should be aware of any side effects before you start taking it.
Potential Clomid side effects:
- Upset stomach
- Hot flashes
- Breast tenderness
- Vision changes
- Heavy period
Does Clomid increase my chances of having twins?
Clomid does increase your odds of conceiving twins as it can cause the ovaries to produce more than one egg during each cycle. But research shows that just 5% to 12% of people with ovaries who got pregnant using Clomid had twins, and less than 1% had triplets or more.
One interesting note to add is that most twins conceived with Clomid will not be identical, because identical twins come from one egg, not two.
Where can I get Clomid?
Clomid is a prescription drug, so you would need to see your doctor first. But most of the time, you do not need to go to a fertility specialist, because your OB/GYN can prescribe it. If you are considering taking Clomid, you should schedule a consult with your doctor, so you can discuss your medical history, and decide if it is worth a try.
No matter what path you take – know that we are here to help. Feel free to reach out on our contact page if we can help support you in any way. Wishing you much success on your journey to the family of your dreams!