Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Clomid: A Brief Overview

Clomid is one of the most common medications prescribed to women who are dealing with infertility. You may have taken it, you may have heard of a friend who is taking it, or you may be wondering if you will be prescribed it in the future. So here is a quick overview of what Clomid is and what it does.

Clomid is a drug that is used to help women who are dealing with infertility. It causes the pituitary gland to release hormones needed to stimulate ovulation. It is most commonly given to women who have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), but it is also prescribed to women who have anovulation, a shorter luteal phase, and many other situations where a woman’s doctor may see it necessary.

It is important while taking Clomid that you follow all directions of your doctor. Clomid is typically taken for 5 days straight, most commonly starting on the 5th day of your menstrual cycle. However, some doctors have found more success if you take it starting on the 3rd day of your menstrual cycle. This is a decision that will be made based on each individuals circumstances, however if you aren’t seeing success when taking it on day 5 it may not hurt to ask to switch it up. It’s always important to advocate for yourself! If the Clomid is successful ovulation should occur within 5-10 days after the cycle of Clomid is completed.

Like all medications Clomid does have side effects. Although they are different for every woman, some of the most common ones are:
  • Flushing: warmth, redness or a tingly feeling
  • Breast Pain
  • Headaches
  • Hot Flashes
  • Night Sweats
**Hot Flashes and Night Sweats were the worst side effects I experienced while on Clomid. There were many nights were I would wake up drenched in sweat and the only remedy was to go outside and stand in the cool wind. Brace yourself for this, it is no joke.

Side Effects that aren’t common and should be immediately reported to your doctor are:
  • Stomach pain or bloating
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Little or no urinating
  • Pain when you breathe, rapid heart rate or feeling short of breathe
** These symptoms can all be related to Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) which can be life threatening!

Some of my personal thoughts and tips concerning Clomid are these:

  • Be aware that most doctors start you out on a dose of 50mg of Clomid. You may not experience any side effects on this dosage. However, each month Clomid doesn’t work your doctor may up your dosage going from 50mg to 100mg to 150mg.  As your dosage increases so do the severity of the side effects. Prepare yourself for this.
  • If you are going to take Clomid, and deal with the unpleasant side effects, request from your doctor to be monitored. Being monitored means they are doing a base line ultrasound to look at your follicles, and then another ultrasound around day 12 of your cycle, to see how the Clomid has progressed those follicles. In my personal opinion… it is a waste to use Clomid if you aren’t being monitored because you could be taking a drug, experiencing nasty side effects, and ultimately using a whole cycle and the drug may not even be working and you wouldn’t even know it because you aren’t being monitored. ASK TO BE MONITORED. Advocate for yourself. It will be well worth it.
  • If after several months Clomid isn’t working for you…Ask to use Femara. It is another drug that works well for women yet has less side effects. We will be doing a post soon about Femara and will link it soon!

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