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Infertility drugs: Clomid

The oral medication Clomid is one of the best known of the fertility drugs that are currently available. Clomid is the most commonly used infertility medication. Clomid is also called clomiphene citrate or Serophene (another brand name for the same drug).

Clomid works by stimulating the ovaries into producing both eggs and the hormones needed to get pregnant. Clomid is most often used when a woman has difficulty ovulating or has irregular menstrual cycles (perhaps due to PCOS). Some women try Clomid for cases of unexplained infertility since it is less invasive than other treatment options.

Doses of Clomid vary (and the following is not intended to replace a doctor’s instructions). Clomid is typically taken for five days each cycle, starting a few days after your menstrual bleed has begun.

Compared to some other fertility drugs, side-effects of Clomid tend to be fairly mild. Women who take Clomid may experience nausea, mood swings, or hot flashes, but these stop when the use of the medication stops.

Various studies have indicated that between 70-90% of women taking Clomid will ovulate every month, and an estimated 30-40% become pregnant within the first six months of treatment. Doctors typically do not recommend taking Clomid for more than six months.

Since Clomid works by stimulating the egg-producing capabilities of the ovaries, there is a chance of multiple eggs and therefore multiple births. However, the actual chance of this is much lower that most people realize. There is approximately a 10% likelihood of conceiving twins. The likelihood of conceiving triplets or more while taking Clomid is less than 1%.

Some other common infertility drugs are:

  • Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG), such as Pregnyl, Novarel, Ovidrel, and Profasi. This drug is usually used along with other fertility drugs to trigger the ovaries to release the mature egg or eggs.
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), such as Follistim, Fertinex, Bravelle, and Gonal-F
  • Human Menopausal Gonadotropin (hMG), such as Pergonal, Repronex, and Metrodin. This drug combines both FSH and LH.
  • Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (Gn-RH), such as Factrel and Lutrepulse. This hormone stimulates the release of FSH and LH from the pituitary gland. These hormones are rarely prescribed in the U.S.
  • Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone Agonist (GnRH agonist), such as Lupron, Zoladex, and Synarel
  • Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone Antagonist (GnRH antagonist), such as Antagon and Cetrotide

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