Keywords: fertility problems, infertility, secondary infertility, infertility causes, treatment for fertility problems, fertility treatment, clomiphene, fertility drugs, clomid, serophene
Description: Find out if this fertility drug might be for you: What are the side effects, cost, and success rates?
Depending on your fertility issues or overall health, a doctor might prescribe drugs other than clomiphene. Find out more about fertility drugs for women .
Clomiphene can help men who have a hormonal imbalance linked to low sperm count, or poor sperm quality or motility.
Clomiphene treatment can be an emotionally intense process for some women because they're anxious about their body's response to the medication. Women taking clomiphene also have to go to the doctor's office frequently for monitoring.
- Taking the drug. You take a clomiphene pill for five days at the start of your period. This helps your body produce more follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which makes the follicles grow. Follicles are the fluid-filled sacs where eggs mature.
- Looking for the surge. After five days of taking clomiphene, your brain releases a "surge" of luteinizing hormone (LH), which signals the ovaries to release one or more mature eggs from the follicles when you ovulate. The LH surge happens five to 12 days after you take the last clomiphene pill.
- Waiting for the release. The doctor monitors you closely to see whether your ovaries are ready to release an egg. A blood test or ultrasounds are done to monitor how the follicles are developing. You may also be asked to use an ovulation predictor kit or a basal body temperature chart to detect when you ovulate.
- Timing the conception. Monitoring when eggs are released helps your doctor figure out the ideal time for you and your partner to have sex, or the best time to schedule a procedure such as IUI. And when an egg meets a healthy sperm in the fallopian tube, there's a chance you'll conceive.
It depends on how regular a woman's menstrual cycle is and how many times she has to try before she gets pregnant.
It can take a month or two of drug therapy – with a dosage increase, if necessary – before ovulation begins. Once ovulation occurs, it can take three to six cycles of treatment. Most doctors don't recommend using clomiphene for more than six treatment cycles.
- For a regular period: Clomiphene is taken for five days, two to five days into a period. To figure out when your next period begins, use our ovulation calculator .
- For an irregular period or no period: A medication called medroxyprogesterone acetate is taken for 10 days to get a period started. Clomiphene is taken after the period begins.
If you don't succeed after three cycles, the doctor might add another medication or suggest a different treatment.
- Mood swings
- Hot flashes
- Thick and dry cervical mucus
- Pelvic pain
- Breast tenderness
- Ovarian cysts
- Mild depression
- Blurred or double vision (though this is less common)
There's a 5 to 12 percent chance of conceiving twins with clomiphene. (Less than 1 percent of women conceive triplets or more.) Though many couples consider it a blessing, carrying multiples increases your risk of miscarriage. preterm labor, and other complications.
In very rare cases, clomiphene causes a mild form of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which can lead to weight gain and a full, bloated feeling. OHSS happens when the ovaries respond too well to fertility drugs and produce too many eggs. The ovaries quickly swell to several times their normal size and produce fluid that leaks into the abdomen.
Mild OHSS usually goes away on its own with bedrest and careful monitoring by a doctor. But in very rare cases it's life threatening – and hospitalization or more intensive monitoring may be necessary.
On the bright side: Contrary to what some researchers thought years ago, recent studies have found that taking fertility drugs such as clomiphene does not increase your risk of developing ovarian cancer. In the past, this was a major source of controversy and concern.
About 80 percent of women ovulate in the first three months of treatment. Of those, 30 to 40 percent get pregnant by the third treatment cycle.
The chance of giving birth to a baby depends on several factors, including age and the quantity and quality of the sperm.
In the United States, expect to spend $10 to $100 on one cycle of clomiphene, depending on your insurance coverage, the dosage, and whether you choose a brand name or generic drug. But this doesn't include the cost of doctors' visits, ultrasounds, or follow-up procedures such as IUI. If an insurance policy doesn't cover the treatment, you'll probably have to pay the entire cost up front.
See therapists' top 10 tips for coping with a fertility problem. Visit the BabyCenter Community to discuss clomiphene and similar fertility drugs with others.