Since we have been trying for a #2 for a little more than a year now, we decided to pay our gynae a visit to check things out. We’ve done everything possible to “catch the right time” – using OPKs, charting my BBT and observing my cervical mucus – but to no avail. Having a somewhat irregular cycle (the length varies each month) does not help either.
The treatment given was to take Clomifene Citrate (or more commonly known as Clomid) to regulate my cycle and ensure that ovulation is right on track. This is to be taken from Day 2 of the cycle, 2 tablets every morning for 5 days.
To understand more about how clomid works, I found some useful information from BabyCentre:
What is Clomifene Citrate?
Clomifene citrate is widely known as an effective treatment to stimulate your ovaries to release eggs, which then leads to ovulation. Depending on each person’s circumstances, clomid may be used alongside other drugs such as metformin and bromocriptine.
Does this drug really improve fertility?
Studies have found that approximately 70% of women ovulate after taking a fairly low dose of clomid. From this percentage, above 40% leads to pregnancy.
If a low dose of clomid does not have any effect, your doctor may increase the dosage to aid with conception. However, do bear in mind that there are other factors that can affect pregnancy rate, which includes:
- The timing of sexual intercourse during your cycle
- Your age and weight
- The count, shape, speed and motility (ability to move) of hubby’s sperms
How does clomifene citrate works?
This drug works by blocking the effect of the hormone estrogen in your body. This tricks your body into bumping up the levels of the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinising hormone (LH) that are vital for ovulation to take place.
FSH causes the eggs in your ovaries to ripen and get ready for release. LH triggers the release of one or more mature eggs from the ovary follicles. The eggs then move down into one of your fallopian tubes.
Any side effects?
As with most drugs, clomid can cause minor side effects, such as:
- Hot flushes
- Mood swings
- abdominal pain
- Breast tenderness
- Heavy periods
- Blurred vision (See your doctor as soon as possible if you experience this)
- Weight gain
Clomid can also cause cervical mucus to dry out, so you may want to use a sperm-friendly vaginal lubricant.
Another potential side effect of clomid is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). This occurs when you “respond too well” to the medication and your ovaries become swollen. Symptoms to look out for include swelling of your tummy, which gives you a full, bloated feeling. Most cases of OHSS as a result of taking clomid are mild and resolved after a few days.
How long to take Clomifene Citrate for?
A low dose of clomid is usually prescribed as a starter, and is to be taken for 5 days in your cycle, for up to 6 months.
If you have regular cycles, you’ll take the pills within 5 days of your period, usually around day 2.
If you are not menstruating at all or if your cycle is irregular, your doctor may give you a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone, called Provera. Progesterone works with estrogen to keepyour cycle regular. Provera will re-establish your period, and once successful, you can start taking clomid.
Ovulation generally occurs between 5 and 9 days after you’ve taken the last clomid pill. Your doctor may monitor your ovaries through an ultrasound scan to see how they are responding and whether one egg follicle or more is preparing to release a mature egg into one of your fallopian tubes.
You might ovulate and conceive in the first month of taking clomid, or it can take a month or two before you start ovulating regularly.
As of now, I’ve just started a new cycle so am in the midst of taking the course of clomid. I’ll be seeing my gynae in the coming week to check things up as I have been spotting after getting a positive OPK right up to the day of my period, in the last 2 cycles.
This is out of the norm for my cycle, and the first time it happened it gave me false hope that it could be implantation bleeding!
Here’s to hoping that it can be resolved and that it’s nothing too serious.