Women who suffer from fertility problems offered different treatments depending on what is causing the problem.
However, one of the most common fertility drugs in the NHS is clomiphene, a drug that promotes the monthly release of an egg in women who do not ovulate regularly.
Clomifene (which is often referred to by the brand name Clomid) is usually prescribed to women who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Using the fertility drug can also result in an increased likelihood of having twins.
We speak with Dr. Geeta Nargund, MD, CREATE Fertility and Dr. Kim Clugston, a fertility expert at DuoFertility, to learn more about the fertility treatment option.
How common is it for women to use clomid?
Dr Nargund said HuffPost UK: “It is used in women with PCOS to induce ovulation and in those where ovulation is irregular to regularize ovulation.
“It is commonly used as an effective first-line treatment for ovulation induction and is widely available in NHS.
“However, it should be prescribed by a fertility specialist (not by a family doctor) after pre-treatment and testing advice to ensure the dose is adjusted to achieve successful results and avoid risks.”
The most recent NICE guidelines suggest that Clomid should not be given to women with unexplained infertility, as there is no evidence to suggest that pregnancy rates increase.
How does it work?
Women take one oral tablet a day (typically 50 mg) for five consecutive days at the beginning of their cycle.
“Clomid is an anti-estrogen,” Dr. Nargund explained. “It stimulates the pituitary gland to release the hormones needed to stimulate ovulation.”
Dr. Clugston said that he tricks the body into thinking that there is not enough estrogen that sends a signal to the pituitary gland to secrete more follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
“This promotes the growth of follicles and the development of a dominant, usually single, follicle that contains a mature ovule that is released in ovulation,” he said.
Are there any side effects of clomid?
Clomid is generally “very well tolerated,” Nargund explained.
“Mood swings are the most common side effect,” he said. “Visual disturbances and hot flashes are rare side effects. Other rare side effects include pelvic discomfort, breast tenderness, and nausea.”
Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is an uncommon side effect that can result from an “over-response” to Clomid – this is a “rare but serious condition”.
You should seek medical advice if these symptoms persist or become severe.
What is the success rate?
“The main goal of Clomid is to restore ovulation and will do so in about 70-80% of women who take it,” said Dr. Clugston. “Once they ovulate, these women have a chance of pregnancy, which is about 20% per cycle.
“Clomid is generally well tolerated by most women, but it can have some negative effects on the cervical mucus and the endometrium, which may have an impact on success rates.However, for women who do not naturally ovulate The benefit of ovulation outweighs these changes. ”
Women should talk to their GP about fertility treatment options.