Clomid Side Effects
Women looking to get pregnant may experience trouble ovulating on their own. Prescription medications are available that can help introduce a regular ovulation schedule, and this includes Clomid.
With side effects to consider, each woman hoping to use the medication should do her research so she is properly informed to make a decision that is best for her.
Used to treat infertility, Clomid is a medication prescribed to women. You should speak with your doctor if you feel that Clomid may be right for you and are ready to give it a try. The medication blocks estrogen receptors found at the hormonal control center within the body, known as the hypothalamus.
The stimulation causes a luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) to be released. This prompts ovulation to occur.
The generic name for this drug is Clomiphene. Patients may be prescribed either of these two names or others similar in nature.
It appears white to pale yellow in color and is odorless. One tablet contains 50 milligrams of clomiphene citrate along with other inactive ingredients like lactose, sucrose, magnesium stearate, and cornstarch.
How Does Clomid Work?
Clomid works to bring on normal ovulation cycles so that you may get pregnant naturally. Women who never ovulate or have a very irregular ovulation schedule are able to use this medication to attempt to normalize their cycles and improve their chances of conception.
Unexplained fertility problems and male-factor fertility problems where there is poor semen quality may also be improved with this drug, though the use of IVF may be necessary to achieve fertilization.
The medication is taken as an oral dose. The dosage amount is dependent upon each woman’s particular issues and what her doctor feels would work best. Typically one to three pills are taken each day for five days early in a monthly cycle.
What Are Some Clomid Side Effects?
While taking Clomid, you may notice a few side effects. An upset stomach, bloating, a feeling of fullness in the pelvic area or abdomen, and headache are some of the common issues noticed. Some women may also experience hot flashes during the few days that they take the medication, as well as breast tenderness or dizziness.
These effects should all be minor and not last for more than a few days.
Weight gain is also a possibility. Before weight gain is noticed, you are more likely to experience bloating. Clomid can cause you to retain water weight, which is why the weight gain may occur. It should subside after you have finished your round of the medication.
Hair thinning may also occur due to the hormonal changes the pills cause. This is reversible, however, and is also very rare.
The effect will be very light and may not even be noticed much at all. Hives are another typical side effect but are also usually minor in appearance.
Clomid 50mg side effects are also going to be different than 100mg Clomid side effects. A higher dose can lead to multiple symptoms at once while a lower dose may only cause one or two of them to occur.
Women who cannot control their ovulation cycles with the lower dose they start with may need to be moved to a higher dosage.
Are the Side Effects Immediate?
Some of the side effects are going to be immediate. They start not long after the first dose or two of Clomid is taken.
However, others may take some time to develop. You might not notice feeling any different until after the round of Clomid has stopped for the month. The body is simply adjusting to the medication and needs time to balance itself.
Clomid Side Effects for the Baby
As with all drugs, side effects are possible for unborn children conceived by the parent taking them. In the case of Clomid, it is possible that birth defects can develop.
However, Clomid effects on baby are often due to using the medication after already becoming pregnant. The pregnancy side effects of Clomid medication may include a twin or multiple pregnancies.
It is also advised to only receive a prescription medication from a medical professional. To avoid costs, some women scour the Internet for a cheaper product that is similar in nature.
However, many of these pills contain harmful ingredients and are not proven safe. Taking these instead of the prescribed medication can have dire consequences. The Clomid treatment cost may be higher than you like, but it is not worth the risk of purchasing other drugs with a lower efficacy rate.
More Serious Clomid Side Effects
Some more serious Clomid side effects are also possible. These happen very rarely but must be noted.
An allergic reaction may develop in women who are sensitive to medications. If you notice severe swelling or itching, a rash or trouble breathing, stop using Clomid and seek immediate medical attention.
Other serious side effects include vision trouble. Some women may experience blurred vision that lasts for weeks or severe eye pain. In this instance, it is also advisable to stop using the drug and speak to your doctor.
Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, or OHSS, may develop after long-term Clomid use. It happens because the ovaries are being stimulated by the drug and cannot keep up.
This occurs very rarely but is still possible. If you notice swelling or pain in your lower abdomen, sudden weight gain, swelling or pain in the legs, an irregular heartbeat, nausea, or decreased urination, it is time to head to the emergency room. These are indicators that there may be fluid building up in the stomach and chest.
Ovarian cysts risks are also possible. This is one reason women must undergo a pelvic exam before starting Clomid. A cyst could rupture quickly with the use of Clomid or any other fertility drug that impacts hormones.
Are There Long-Term Side Effects or Harm Caused by Clomid Use?
On average, the side effects are minimal and do not cause any lasting damage. However, women who fail to seek medical treatment immediately for serious side effects, such as OHSS or loss of vision, could have permanent damage.
It is necessary to see your doctor immediately when severe side effects occur so you reduce the chance of long-term harm.
It is also not advised to take Clomid for an extended time. If the medication does not work after several cycles, it may be advised to skip it for a cycle or two before trying again. Failing to work after that may mean the medication is not right for you and a new option needs consideration.
Clomid’s Drug Identification Number
Every drug has an identification number so it can be regulated. Clomid’s drug identification number is 016131. This is the number for the 50mg tablets most commonly prescribed to patients.
One Clomid tablet contains 50mg of the effective ingredient. You may be instructed to take one pill a day for five days early in your cycle.
You will need to be evaluated by your doctor first and instructed on how and when to take the pills. They are often taken on days 3 through 7 of the monthly cycle.
Women who still have trouble ovulating on just 50mg a day may get bumped to 100mg. This all depends on your body, your results, and your doctor’s discretion.
It is not often recommended to take more than 100mg, though one more 50mg pill per day may be necessary in rare cases. No more than three is usually prescribed.
Clomid 50mg side effects are typically less than 100mg Clomid side effects, so be sure the smaller dose does not work for you before increasing your dosage to the next amount. Your doctor should instruct you when it is time to try more.
Efficacy for Fertility
Clomid is a highly effective fertility medicine. The Clomid treatment success rate is 80% for ovulation and up to 12% for conception in a given cycle.
These are solid numbers that make trying Clomid worthwhile, depending on your fertility issues.
Clomid treatment for PCOS is possible. Women with Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) often have a difficult time conceiving, and their chances can be increased with the use of this drug.
PCOS causes women to struggle with ovulation. Because Clomid helps develop a regular ovulation schedule, it works as an adequate treatment and boosts chances for fertility in women who have this disease.
Which Fertility Treatment Drugs Can Help You Get Pregnant?
Many fertility medicine options exist. These treatments can help you get pregnant naturally so you do not have to look at alternatives. It is often recommended to try these first before turning to other solutions.
Aside from Clomid, there are several other choices. Metformin is one popular choice. It can be used alone or in combination with Clomid.
Women with PCOS, for example, may need to use both in order to trigger ovulation. Just one does not always do the trick because of the severe damage to their internal systems.
Gonadotropins is another choice. It is injected into the body rather than taken in pill form. It stimulates the ovary to release eggs. There is a higher chance of a multiples pregnancy with this option.
Letrozole works similarly to Clomid. However, it is not as commonly used. The efficacy has not been monitored as well and the side effects are not as well known.
One other possibility is Bromocriptine. When the pituitary gland produces an excess amount of prolactin, ovulation problems can develop.
Bromocriptine helps to reverse these effects and allow ovulation to occur easier than before.
Is Clomid Right for You?
The question of Clomid being right for you is going to vary from woman to woman. While you and your doctor may decide to give it a try, someone else might decide the risks and side effects are not worth the attempt.
Any woman struggling with infertility and having trouble getting pregnant after more than a year of trying should add Clomid to the top of their consideration list. It may just be what you need to get the help you need to conceive naturally.
When to Consult or Contact Your Doctor/OBGYN
You should wait to consult your doctor about using Clomid until after you have tried and failed to conceive for a full year. Before the year mark, most doctors will recommend waiting as it can take some time to get pregnant on your own, especially if there are underlying issues.
This typically applies to women over the age of 35. Women younger than this may be able to get help after just six months of trying.
Once you get that positive pregnancy test, it is also advisable to consult your OB. You want to be sure to get off the medication right away and be checked for the viability of the pregnancy.
Taking Clomid early on in pregnancy can lead to side effects for the fetus so stopping immediately and getting proper medical care is important.
It is also advisable to consult with your OB/GYN if you notice severe side effects while taking Clomid. Eye pain and a lack of vision can be long-lasting if you don’t seek medical attention.
Other side effects, such as OHSS, can also be life-threatening if not treated immediately. Any time you feel unsure of the process, are nervous about a symptom you’re experiencing, or otherwise need guidance, talk to your doctor right away.
You also want to consult your doctor before weight gain becomes excessive. Clomid should only cause slight weight gain. More than 10 or 15 pounds put on quickly could be a sign of an underlying issue, or you could even be pregnant without yet realizing it.
Risks of Clomid
There are several risks when taking Clomid. You may notice these results during the time you take the medication and then feel fine during the remainder of the month, or you could experience symptoms even after the medication is stopped.
Every woman’s body is different and you may feel something that another does not. Changes in your sleeping pattern are likely during the days you take Clomid. You can also expect mood swings and hot flashes.
Additional risks include:
- Unusual or excessive menstrual bleeding
- Breast tenderness
- Weight gain
- Vision problems
- Vaginal dryness
- Bloating and abdominal discomfort
The ovarian cysts risks are also heightened when taking Clomid. Hormonal problems can make cysts develop that can burst and cause severe pain.
Serious ovarian cysts complications can occur, such as stopping the blood flow to the ovary, a ruptured ovary that causes internal bleeding, and severe pelvic pain.
It is also possible that Clomid can cause a tubal pregnancy. This is when the egg implants into one of the fallopian tubes instead of the uterus. Many women experience tubal pregnancies.
Molar pregnancies are possible as well. The egg does not get stuck in the fallopian tubes in this type. It makes it to the uterus as it’s supposed to, yet develops into a disease which forms into a mass.
Both of these situations can be dangerous and need to be addressed by a doctor immediately.
Do Not Take Clomid If:
Because pregnancy side effects of Clomid are possible, it is not advised to continue use while pregnant. Aside from that, it is not necessary. Clomid works to make ovulation possible so pregnancy is possible.
There is no need for the medication after you have already conceived and the Clomid effects on baby can be dangerous. A positive pregnancy test means no more fertility meds. You’ll be switched to prenatal vitamins instead.
As mentioned in the risks, ovarian cysts can be caused by Clomid. Taking the medication when you already have cysts present is a major mistake. It will only worsen them and cause them to grow larger.
You do not want to experience the ovarian cysts complications that can develop. Preventing them is key. Those with PCOS, however, can take the drug. Clomid treatment for PCOS is possible.
Doctors will not recommend the use of Clomid for those with a poorly functioning liver. The medicine may boost fertility, but it can also have a negative impact on the liver, even causing injury.
This is especially true with prolonged use. It elevates levels of serum enzymes.
Abnormal vaginal bleeding that is already present before the use of Clomid should also be monitored prior to use. Though the drug itself can cause unexplained bleeding, bleeding before the medication is taken could indicate lesions, cysts, or other problems that need to be addressed before the use of Clomid can commence.
A pelvic exam will help determine if women dealing with these issues can continue with treatments.
You should also not take Clomid if you are a competitive athlete. Its use is prohibited because it’s an anti-estrogenic substance sometimes found in black market performance enhancement products.
The FDA has not approved the substance for men in any form, yet men have taken it to enhance their muscle mass and performance in competitions.
Many prescription medications are not to be taken with others because they can have negative interactions. They may cause some sort of side effect or completely negate the efficacy of one or more of the drugs altogether. Clomid has interactions with at least two known drugs.
- Bexarotene, also called Targretin, can interact with Clomid. This drug is used to treat certain skin conditions and provides Vitamin A. It is an anti-cancer agent. People with skin cancer taking this medication should not take Clomid at the same time and should speak with their doctor about other options or discuss when the time would be right to try to conceive.
- Ospemifene, otherwise prescribed as Osphena, also interacts with Clomid. This drug works to treat pain during intercourse. It reverses changes in the vaginal tissue and is often prescribed to those who have already gone through menopause. Older women looking to get pregnant yet may be undergoing menopausal symptoms should not take both Clomid and Osphena at the same time.
How Many Cycles of Clomid Should You Try Before Moving On?
Most women will conceive on Clomid within six months of use. Some may even see a positive test result within just 90 days.
This Clomid treatment success rate may make it so women do not want to give up so easily, however, after several cycles of using Clomid with no luck, it’s best to consult with your doctor about its efficacy.
He or she may recommend giving it another try before giving up, especially if it is, in fact, working to make you ovulate like you previously could not. It might be recommended to try for a few cycles and then stop for a month before trying again to give your body some time to adjust.
It is typically recommended that women over 35 do not use Clomid for more than three cycles at a time. Women under 35 can often safely try six cycles before needing to take a break or finding something new altogether.
Multiple Births and Clomid
Statistics have shown that Clomid has a chance at causing multiple births. There is between a 5 and 10% chance that Clomid can cause twin births.
A higher dose is more likely to cause this than a lower dose would. There is a 0.5% chance that triplets would be conceived using the drug.
With twins or multiples already present somewhere in your family lineage, you want to prepare even more for this possibility when taking Clomid.
Clomid is not for everyone. With side effects and risks, it is up to each woman to decide if she wants to take the chance of trying the medication in hopes of becoming pregnant.
Discuss your options with your doctor and see if Clomid may be a suitable option for you to take. It may be tried for a few cycles to see if your body responds well before switching to another alternative.
The Clomid treatment cost may or may not be covered by your insurance, so discuss this with your provider first before inquiring.