Here’s a clear, simple explanation of how the fertility drug clomid helps you get pregnant. It’s not the most fun fertility drug, but it can help you conceive a baby.
First, though – if you’re trying to get pregnant, don’t forget the First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test. It’ll help you know as quick as possible if you’re pregnant. Don’t give up hope – and don’t stop trying!
I found a great source of information for couples trying to conceive. It’s a blog called East Coast Fertility and their tips are too good to keep to myself! Here’s an excerpt from a recent post: “You don’t know where it will lead, but your dream is at the other end. Can you feel it?” writes Tracey Minella on a recent fertility blog post. “It is going to be costly… draining you emotionally, physically and financially. But not going forward is simply not an option. And finally, after struggling and holding on to hope for longer than you ever imagined you could, the dream appears over the next horizon.”
How Does Clomid Help You Get Pregnant?
This information is adapted from an article by Dr David Kreiner, MD, of East Coast Fertility.
It has become commonplace for women who have been frustrated with repeated unsuccessful attempts to conceive naturally to see their gynecologist. Clomid therapy is often used to help women get pregnant.
Clomid, the traditional brand name for clomiphene citrate, is a competitive inhibitor of estrogen. It stimulates the pituitary gland to produce follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) which in turn will stimulate the ovaries to mature follicle(s) containing eggs. Estrogen normally has a negative effect on the pituitary: Clomid blocks estrogen and leads to pituitary FSH production and ovarian stimulation.
How Clomid Increases Your Chances of Getting Pregnant
Infertility patients — those under 35 having one year and of unprotected intercourse without getting pregnant and those over 35 having six months without pregnancy — have a two to five percent pregnancy rate each month trying on their own, without fertility treatments.
Clomid therapy increases a couple’s fertility by increasing the number of eggs matured in a cycle and by producing a healthier egg and follicle. The pregnancy rate with clomid therapy alone is approximately ten percent per cycle and 12 -15 percent when combined with intrauterine insemination (IUI).
Women who are unable to ovulate on their own experience a 20 percent pregnancy rate per cycle with clomid, the equivalent to that of a fertile couple trying on their own. So, clomid can help women get pregnant.
Clomid and Your Cervical Mucus
This information might help take the stress out of trying to conceive. Women who are likely to get pregnant with clomid usually do so in the first three months of therapy, with very few conceiving after six months. As clomid has an anti-estrogen effect, the cervical mucus and endometrial lining may be adversely affected.
Cervical mucus is normally produced just prior to ovulation and may be noticed as a stringy egg white like discharge unique to the middle of a woman’s cycle just prior to and during ovulation. It provides the perfect environment for the sperm to swim through to gain access to a woman’s reproductive tract and find her egg. Unfortunately, clomid may thin out her cervical mucus, preventing the sperm’s entrance into her womb. IUI overcomes this issue through bypassing the cervical barrier and depositing the sperm directly into the uterus.
However, when the uterine lining or endometrium is affected by the anti-estrogic properties of clomid, an egg may be fertilized but implantation is unsuccessful due to the lack of secretory gland development in the uterus. The lining does not thicken as it normally would during the cycle. Attempts to overcome this problem with estrogen therapy are rarely successful.
Side Effects of Clomid Therapy
Many women who take clomid experience no side effects. Others have complained of headache, mood changes, spots in front of their eyes, blurry vision, hot flashes and occasional cyst development (which normally resolves on its own). Most of these effects last no longer than the five or seven days that you take the clomid and have no permanent side effect. The incidence of getting pregnant with twins is eight to ten percent with a one percent risk of triplet development.
If you don’t want to try clomid, read 13 Tips for Getting Pregnant Without Taking Fertility Drugs.
If You Try Clomid to Get Pregnant, Limit Your Clomid Cycles
Yet another deterrent to clomid use was a study performed years ago that suggested that women who used clomid for more than twelve cycles developed an increased incidence of ovarian tumors. It is therefore recommended by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine as well as the manufacturer of clomiphene that clomid be used for no more than six months.
After six months of clomid, it is recommended that patients proceed with treatment including gonadotropins (injectable hormones containing FSH and LH) to stimulate the ovaries in combination with intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
In Vitro Fertilization and Clomid
Clomid helps women who fail to ovulate get pregnant in nearly 70 percent of cases. All other patients average close to a 50 percent pregnancy rate if they attempt six cycles with clomid, especially when they combine it with IUI. After six months, the success is less than five percent per month.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a successful alternative therapy or fertility treatment when other pelvic factors such as tubal disease, tubal ligation, adhesions or scar tissue and endometriosis exist or there is a deficient number, volume or motility of sperm. Success rates with IVF are age, exam and history dependent.
The average pregnancy rate with a single fresh IVF cycle is greater than 50 percent. For women under 35, the pregnancy rate for women after a single stimulation and retrieval is greater than 70 percent with a greater than 60 percent live birth rate at East Coast Fertility. Young patients sometimes choose a minimal stimulation IVF or MicroIVF as an alternative to clomid/IUI cycles as a more successful and cost effective option as many of these patients experience a 40 percent pregnancy rate per retrieval at a cost today of about $3,900.
This is from Do I Need Clomid to Get Pregnant? on the East Coast Fertility Blog. Visit their website to learn more about Dr Kreiner, fertility treatments, and getting pregnant.
To learn about my experience with clomid and getting pregnant, read Clomid Challenge Test – A Fertility Test for Women.