Clomid (clomiphene citrate) is an FDA-approved drug used for ovulation and fertility treatment. If you have undergone a fertility workup and your doctor determines that you are not ovulating properly or at all, Clomid might be prescribed to help stimulate ovulation. When prescribed for fertility treatments such as IVF, Clomid is taken orally for five consecutive days. It works by blocking a woman’s estrogen receptors, “tricking” her body into thinking that her estrogen is low, and in return, stimulating the production of the hormones FSH and LH, which are needed to induce ovulation. Most women who respond to Clomid will become pregnant within the first three months of therapy. Although Clomid is prescribed often, it should not be taken for more than six months. There are also some side effects associated with Clomid. These include:
- Adverse effects on the woman’s cervical mucus or endometrial lining preventing the male sperm from entering into the woman’s womb
- Risk of ovarian tumors when used for more than 12 cycles
- An increase a woman’s chance of developing ovarian enlargement or ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which can cause stomach pain or enlargement, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and weight gain.
Clomid has also been seen in the cases of multiple pregnancies and births from twins to triplets and even quadruplets. Although having multiples might not be seen as a bad thing by a couple facing infertility, a true health risk to both the mother and babies exists with a multiple pregnancy. A woman who is taking Clomid tends to produce additional hormones which help her follicles grow and mature. Her estrogen levels also rise. As this effect happens, it is likely that a woman’s body will produce and release more than one mature egg during ovulation. The eggs that are released are then fertilized by her body, and if she has released more than one egg, she will have a multiple birth. As with all medical treatment and medications, please consult with your healthcare provider. Every individual and situation is different, and the above statement is a general overview.