Clomid (clomiphene citrate)
Clomid and other fertility treatments comparison
Clomid is the same as Serophene and Clostil, which are simply different brand names for clomiphene citrate.
Sometimes Clomid is prescribed with gonadtropins, sometimes they are prescribed separately. Gonadotropins are injectable hormonal treatments for infertility, hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin, brand name Novarel) is one of these.
Both are to stimulate ovulation and support the development and release of a healthy egg. However, Gonadotropins have to be injected (unlike Clomid which is a pill you take by mouth) and have more risks of side-effects.
Letrozole (brand name Femara) is primarily used to treat breast cancer in post-menopausal women, and works by reducing the body’s production of estrogen.
Letrozole is also sometimes used to induce ovulation. Lately, it’s been used less since if you take it while pregnant it can increase the risk of birth defects.
Vitex and Fertilaid are natural supplements you can take which may improve your fertility.
Vitex (or chasteberry) is a herb, the berry of a shrub found in the Mediterranean and Asia, and there is some evidence that it may improve fertility in women with low progesterone levels. However, you have to take it for several months daily before it takes effect – so not the quickest option – though it is the natural option with least risk of side effects. It can help PMS too.
Fertilaid is a combination of vitamins, minerals and herbs (including Vitex) which claims to promote health and balance in the hormones regulating ovulation and conception. It’s the best-selling natural fertility supplement in the US, though it’s not clear whether there’s medical evidence that it works.
Nolvadex / Tamoxifen can also be used to treat female infertility (caused by lack of ovulation) and sometimes male infertility althought its primary use is in the treatment of breast cancer and gynecomastia.
Difference between generic Clomid and brand Clomid®
There’s no medical difference between generic Clomid and brand-name Clomid® manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis. Both contain the active ingredient clomiphene citrate. The main difference will be their price. Generic Clomid is the affordable version.
How Clomid works
Clomid stimulates ovulation, and so can treat infertility caused by problems with ovulation, which is estimated to account for about a quarter of female cases of infertility.
Clomid stimulates the pituitary gland to release the necessary hormones to trigger the growth and release of an egg from the ovaries.
As such, it won’t work if the problem is blockages in a woman’s fallopian tubes, or if her ovaries are no longer producing eggs or if it’s the man who is infertile in a couple (although Clomid can be used for male infertility in some circumstances – more on this below).
Clomid dosages and methods use
50mg is the usual dose of Clomid – though your doctor may prescribe a different dose depending on your circumstances.
Higher doses are available but taking too much – e.g., more than 150mg – can actually make it harder to get pregnant. This is because Clomid lowers the quality of your cervical mucus and can make the lining of the womb thinner, making it harder for the egg to implant.
Does Clomid increase libido and/or boost testosterone?
Clomid can boost testosterone production in men with low testosterone and may boost fertility, unlike traditional testosterone replacement treatments which lower sperm counts.
It’s unclear whether it boosts libido, although at least one medical study has found that it can improve erectile dysfunction for ED sufferers (though it was less effective in men with chronic health conditions like hypertension, obesity and diabetes and those on multiple medications).
Clomid for men – does it increase fertility of sperm?
Clomid is sometimes prescribed for men as in some cases it can help male infertility. This is when infertility is because of low testosterone levels, low sperm count or low sperm motility (mobility), or even no sperm in his semen.
In these cases Clomid can help stimulate sperm production (as long as the problem is not due to a blockage somewhere preventing sperm reaching the ejaculated semen).
Also if a man has a varicose vein in his scrotum or testicle, Clomid might be prescribed as an alternative to surgery.
In the US, Clomid is authorized for female infertility although doctors can prescribe it for men “off-label”.
Clomid success rate measured
Clomid has a 75-80% success rate at stimulating ovulation within the first menstrual cycle in which you take it.
About 40-45% of women get pregnant within 6 (menstrual) cycles of taking Clomid.
Who should use Clomid?
Clomid works only for those women whose infertility is caused by problems with ovulation (i.e., problems with the ovaries maturing and releasing an egg).
It won’t work for women whose infertility is due to other issues, like blocked fallopian tubes (stopping the egg getting to the womb).
Also, itmay not work for women with low estrogen levels, or premature ovarian failure, or those whose ovulation problems are caused by thyroid problems.
Is Clomid less effective in women over 40?
You also shouldn’t take Clomid if you have any of the following health issues:
- abnormal vaginal bleeding,
- an ovarian cyst (that is not related to polycystic ovary syndrome),
- liver disease,
- a pituitary gland tumour,
- an untreated or uncontrolled problem with your thyroid or adrenal gland.
If you have endometriosis or uterine fibroids then you may be okay to take it, but you’ll need to check with your doctor.
Don’t take Clomid if you’re pregnant.
Also refrain from using Clomid if you’re breastfeeding as it might pass into your milk.
If you are fertile, taking Clomid won’t help you get pregnant any more quickly or easily. In fact, it might actually make it harder for you to get pregnant.
How to take Clomid?
Take Clomid by mouth exactly as your doctor prescribes, as the exact recommended schedule can vary. Generally, the most common protocol is to start taking it on the 3rd or 5th day of your menstrual cycle (the day you properly get your period is counted as day one) and take it for 5 days.
50mg once a day is the usual dosage, and this is a case when more is not necessarily better (high dosages can decrease your chances of conception).
You’re likely to then ovulate 7-10 days after taking it, so the best time to have lots of sex is in the days leading up to ovulation – more details here: https://infertility.about.com/od/infertilitytreatments/qt/clomid_sex.htm You can also try using an ovulation predictor test to tell when you’re most fertile.
Don’t take Clomid for too long though – some medical websites recommend stopping after 3 cycles of Clomid treatment, others after 6 – and definitely don’t take it for longer than that.
For more information about taking Clomid see: Clomid101
Clomid side effects
The most common side effects are:
- hot flashes (hot flushes), tender breasts,
- mood swings (aka “Clomid Crazies”!)
Less common side effects include:
- tender/enlarged ovaries (leading to abdominal tenderness),
- vaginal dryness,
- visual disturbances.
See your doctor if you start seeing flashes of flight or get more sensitive to light, or have heavy vaginal bleeding, or pelvic pain.
Get medical help immediately if you have an allergic reaction to Clomid (hives, itching, swelling lips or face or throat, trouble breathing).
There’s also a small chance of getting ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) which can be life-threatening, so, obviously, if you have symptoms get help fast.
Symptoms of OHSS include:
- stomach pain,
- rapid weight gain especially in your face or around your middle,
- peeing only a little or not at all,
- pain when you breathe,
- fast heart rate,
- shortness of breath when lying down.
More details on Clomid side effects here: Clomid side effects
Are babies from use of Clomid healthy?
You’re more likely to have twins or triplets if you’re taking Clomid (or other fertility treatments). This is because Clomid may stimulate you to produce more than one egg at ovulation.
Multiple births can be more risky pregnancies for the mother and foetuses, although the chances of you having more than two at once are pretty slim.
Chances of having twins from taking Clomid are reportedly about 10%, chances of having triplets or more less than 1%.
There shouldn’t be any effects on the health of a baby which is conceived while taking Clomid.
How safe is Clomid?
Clomid’s potential side effects aren’t so bad, compared with other medications and even other fertility treatments.
However, since there is no definitive way to take Clomid (regarding timing of taking it, and for how many cycles), it’s best to consult a doctor.
You also need to make sure that your infertility is of the type that Clomid can treat and that it’s medically suitable for you.
It’s important hat you don’t have other medical conditions which would make Clomid unsafe for you to take.
Where can you buy Clomid online in the UK?
In the UK, as the US, you need a prescription to get Clomid. Once you’ve got that, you’ll be able to get it at most pharmacies.
However, you can also get prescriptions when you buy Clomid online at the online pharmacies listed in the price comparison chart below. The prescription consultation process is integrated into the checkout process.
Cost of Clomid
The most affordable solution for purchasing Clomid as a fertility treatment is to buy generic Clomid. Generic Clomid is identical to Clomid® apart from branding and cost.
If you wish to buy generic Clomid online, below is a list of reputable online pharmacies that provide fast delivery and quality customer service.