What Is Clomid and How Is it Used in Fertility Treatments? By Nurit Winkler on November 30, 2023

woman taking fertility medication

Clomid is a medication commonly used in infertility treatments. But what is it, how does it work, and how is it used in fertility treatments here at Los Angeles Reproductive Center? In this blog post, our Encino and BakersfieldCA-area doctors answer these questions for our patients.

What Is Clomid?

Clomid is also called Serophene or clomiphene citrate (generic name). It is a medication used frequently in fertility treatments to induce ovulation in women who are anovulatory, meaning they do not ovulate on their own. It can also be used to stimulate follicle growth to increase the number of eggs that are released during ovulation in women who do ovulate. An increased number of eggs increases the chances of one or more becoming fertilized and implanting, thus increasing your chances of becoming pregnant.

How Does Clomid Work?

To understand how Clomid works, one must understand hormones and the menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle occurs in three phases:

  1. Follicular (before release of the egg)
  2. Ovulatory (egg release)
  3. Luteal (after egg release)

A normal menstrual cycle is regulated by progesterone and estrogen. During your period, estrogen and progesterone are low, signaling the body to produce follicles for the next phase. During a normal cycle, estrogen levels rise just before ovulation, peaking and then dropping after a woman ovulates. Once the ovary releases an egg, the follicle closes and then produces progesterone. 

Clomid is an “anti-estrogen”. By tricking the brain into thinking estrogen levels are low, the brain signals the ovaries to release an egg. 

How Is Clomid Used in Fertility Treatments?

There are several ways Clomid can be used for fertility treatments:

  • Medicated cycle with timed intercourse - Patients take Clomid on a set schedule and engage in intercourse during certain times to increase the chances of natural conception. 
  • IUI and IVF - Clomid is used during IUI and IVF as part of the medication protocol. Clomid not only helps stimulate follicle growth, but it can also help prevent premature ovulation, which can affect your IUI or IVF cycle. 

Typically, Clomid treatment starts on day two of your menstrual cycle, meaning you take the first dose after your first day of bleeding. It is then taken for five days. Ovulation typically occurs about five to ten days after you take your last Clomid dose. In some cases, your doctor may use a trigger shot to trigger ovulation.

Does Clomid Have Risks?

Every medication has risks, and Clomid is no different. The most common side effects of Clomid include:

  • Stomach upset
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal/pelvic fullness
  • Flushing ("hot flashes")
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Vision changes

Another potential side effect of ovarian stimulation medications like Clomid is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). OHSS causes the ovaries to swell and become painful. Symptoms of OHSS include:

  • Mild to moderate abdominal pain
  • Abdominal bloating or increased waist size
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tenderness in the area of your ovaries
  • Rapid weight gain — more than 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) in 24 hours
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Severe, persistent nausea and vomiting
  • Blood clots
  • Decreased urination
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tight or enlarged abdomen

Talk to your doctor if you develop these symptoms. 

Have Questions About Your Fertility Treatment Options?

If you are struggling to conceive, our skilled fertility experts offer a range of treatments to help you achieve your dreams of a successful pregnancy and baby. Get started by requesting a consultation at one of two locations in Encino or Bakersfield, CA, today. 

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Los Angeles Reproductive Center office

Los Angeles Reproductive Center

Los Angeles Reproductive Center is a state-of-the-art fertility center offering the latest fertility testing and treatment options. Our fertility specialists, Dr. Nurit Winkler and Dr. Marc Kalan, are double board-certified doctors who have been widely recognized for their contributions to reproductive medicine. 

To help all patients achieve their dreams of parenthood, our doctors offer:

  • Compassionate care
  • Flexible payment options
  • Two conveniently located offices

Schedule a consultation online or call us at (818) 946-8051 to learn more about our fertility treatments.

Reach Out To Us Today

Los Angeles Reproductive Center is a unique fertility clinic focused on treating patients like family and built upon the principles of communication, compassion, warmth, openness, and service that accompanies an exceptional pregnancy rate. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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