When you’re ready to start a family, it can become frustrating when it takes longer than expected.
Unfortunately, some women have to wait a long time to get pregnant. Then it can take even longer to rule out the cause of their prolonged success of achieving pregnancy. When it takes more than one year, a doctor will usually perform testing. Infertility is usually the cause and it affects 6.1 million women in the United States between the ages of 15-44. Luckily, just because a woman faces infertility doesn’t mean she will never get pregnant. With prescription fertility medication like Clomid, there’s a chance to conceive if the reason for infertility is inability to ovulate. Clomid, short for clomiphene citrate, or Serophene, has been used for nearly 50 years to increase hormones that induce ovulation. To get clomid prescribed by a doctor, there must first be an official diagnosis.
Reasons Clomid is Prescribed
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
A doctor will likely prescribe clomid if you have been diagnosed with a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Women who have PCOS generally don’t ovulate on their own during a normal cycle.
If you have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility, your doctor may prescribe clomid. This term is when a woman has been trying for a year or more to conceive and is under 35 years old. When tests are performed, they will usually come back normal, which is another indicator for unexplained infertility. Clomid will be used to induce natural ovulation and pregnancy success rate usually increased within the first few cycles.
What the Experts Say
Many experts agree that clomid it one of the most effective infertility treatments.
“Pregnancy rates per cycle of Clomid are 10 to 15 percent. Pairing Clomid with IUI (intrauterine insemination) increases the chances by about 5 percent. Success rates vary with the age of the patient and causes of infertility, but younger patients do better. A patient may need up to six cycles of Clomid before pregnancy occurs, however, after three cycles, your doctor may opt to try a different medication.”
–Dr. Prati Sharma, Romper’s How Fast Do You Get Pregnant With Clomid?
Who Can Prescribe Clomid
This type of specialist will do an initial full fertility workup prior to prescribing any medication. It’s important to determine the root cause of infertility before forming a treatment plan. A reproductive specialist is best trained and skilled to help women avoid any risks associated with treatment. If clomid is deemed necessary for your case, this type of doctor will prescribe and watch you closely through your journey.
Your OBGYN that you go to for regular checkups can usually prescribe. However, the difference with them is they won’t do a full fertility workup. While this may mean the process may be faster, it’s not always a reliable choice. For example, if the OBGYN prescribes clomid, you don’t know for sure if your issue is caused by only non-ovulation. If you have more underlying issues, it can further prolong your success.
The Good and Bad of Clomid
Just like any medication, there are going to be benefits and disadvantages. It’s critical to educate yourself before agreeing to taking any fertility medication.
Pros of Clomid
- Clomid works well for patients with PCOS
- Ovulation can become more predictable
- Cut the long cycles and ovulate sooner
- Less intense than fertility injections
- Women usually get pregnant within 6 cycles
Cons of Clomid
- Side effects such as mood changes, hot flashes, bloating, decreased cervical mucus, and possible visual changes (a more serious side effect).
- Multiple pregnancies. Twins are more common and triplets and quadruplets are rare but can still happen.
- Increased risk of a tubal pregnancy or also known as ectopic pregnancy.
- Some insurance companies won’t cover Clomid but the generic form should is cheaper.
- Although rare, clomid can cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which can cause severe illness or even death.