CLOMID® is the brand name of the generic oral medication clomiPHENE citrate, a commonly prescribed fertility drug taken to stimulate the release of hormones vital for egg and follicle development and support. In layman’s terms, Clomid helps you ovulate, thus increasing the possibility of becoming pregnant.
According to myclomid.com, Clomid works by tricking your brain, in a way. The medication hinders the brain’s ability to sense your estrogen levels. The brain then responds by sending more follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) for egg growth. When that happens, it triggers the follicles in the ovaries to produce mature eggs – eggs that are ripe for fertilization by sperm.
Is Clomid safe?
For the most part, Clomid is a safe, low-cost fertility treatment for those who might be experiencing difficulty ovulating, irregular or absent periods, and/or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Taken orally in the form of tablets, Clomid shouldn’t impact your day-to-day lifestyle; however, there are a few things to keep in mind during your treatment.
As always, make sure you discuss any questions or concerns with your healthcare provider before starting any new medications.
Things to avoid when taking Clomid
The good news is, there are very few limitations for those taking Clomid. “Some people do have dizziness as a side effect,” warns Jessica Ryniec, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist with CCRM Fertility in Boston. “If that is the case it’s best to avoid alcohol or other drugs as those can exacerbate the symptoms.”
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On that note, if you experience dizziness while on Clomid, you will want to refrain from driving or using other potentially dangerous machinery until the side effects dissipate. To reduce dizziness, avoid standing or sitting up too quickly.
Dr. Ryniec also recommends not breastfeeding while on Clomid. Not only can the drug lower your milk supply, but “lactation can lessen the effects of Clomid'' as well.
It’s also wise to inform your medical provider of any underlying health conditions before you begin a course of Clomid. In particular, you’ll want to disclose any allergies, a history of liver problems, pituitary gland disease, PCOS, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, undiagnosed vaginal bleeding issues – and if you’re breastfeeding or pregnant.
What to expect when taking Clomid
A course of Clomid usually begins on or around the fifth day of the menstrual cycle once ovulation is established. Patients will either take Clomid several days prior to intercourse, or as part of an intrauterine insemination (IUI) cycle. Ovulation tends to occur approximately five to 10 days after your last Clomid pill, around which time an IUI is scheduled (or intercourse is planned).
To maximize Clomid’s benefits, Dr. Ryniec emphasizes “timing intercourse or an IUI during the fertile window.” In addition, Clomid is most effective when patients follow their dosing schedule and doctor’s instructions. Most people aren’t prescribed Clomid for more than five days, and it’s not a long-term use medication. Therefore, do not take Clomid more often or longer than prescribed.
Taking care of yourself while on Clomid
As Dr. Ryniec previously mentioned, side effects like dizziness can occur when taking Clomid. The most common side effects are bloating and abdominal pain, but blurred vision, headaches, and hot flashes are possible, too. Always contact your doctor if you experience any side effects while on Clomid or any other medication.
Although Dr. Ryniec confirms that “there aren’t any diet or lifestyle changes that could help increase the effects of Clomid.” She advises taking a prenatal vitamin, and “sticking to an overall healthy lifestyle with good sleep, hydration and an overall healthy diet.”
Still, there’s usually a period of adjustment whenever anyone begins a new medication, especially if you’re TTC. So just make sure you’re taking care of yourself – both physically and mentally – and keep your doctor updated on your progress, as well as any side effects.
For more answers to your Clomid questions, visit myclomid.com.
holds an M.S. in Professional Writing from NYU, and is a seasoned journalist, having written and reported on subjects ranging from TV and pop culture to health, wellness, and parenting over the course of her career. Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, Vulture, SheKnows, and numerous other outlets. A staunch mental health advocate, Sarene also hosts the podcast “Emotional Abuse Is Real.” Visit her website here, or follow her on Instagram or Twitter.