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Q&A: Clomid Basics?

What is Clomid, and when should I go on it? What should I expect when I'm on it and how effective is it?

Clomid, or Clomiphene Citrate, is a medication the blocks the receptor for the female hormone estrogen. This causes the pituitary gland to secrete more follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), which in turn stimulates the ovary to make an egg.

This medication is useful in helping women who do not ovulate regularly to produce an egg every month, but has limited use in helping women who already ovulate become pregnant. If ovulation does not occur using this medication, there are others available that may. If the medication successfully stimulates ovulation but more than four to six cycles go by without a pregnancy, other therapies should be attempted.

Ovulation is successfully stimulated with Clomid in up to 80% of women who do not otherwise ovulate, and 50% of these women become pregnant. Approximately 90% of the pregnancies achieved through Clomid occur within the first four cycles on the medication. 

Clomid is associated in some women with mood swings and depression, but both should go away once off the medication.

By Dr. Joseph Hill