For couples who are having trouble conceiving, where there is no identified cause of infertility, or where the woman is having problems with ovulation, the first step in treatment is a course of drugs to help stimulate and regulate ovulation.
Clomiphene citrate for infertility
Clomiphene citrate (brand names are Clomid and Serophene) is a synthetic drugÂ taken in tablet form, usually once a day between Days 2 and 6 of the womanâ€™s cycle,Â with the aim of stimulating her ovaries into ovulation. The lowest dose given is 50mg.Â Your doctor may increase this (occasionally up to 200mg) if lower doses donâ€™t workÂ within a couple of months. It is recommended that most women do not stay on the treatmentÂ for longer than six months. If it hasnâ€™t worked by then, the chances are low that itÂ will, and there are health risks implicated in longer treatment.
For many women, a course of clomiphene seems like a miracle cure as itÂ â€˜kick-startsâ€™ the ovaries into regular ovulation and intercourse at the mostÂ fertile time of the cycle is more likely to result in a pregnancy. However, the treatmentÂ does not work for all women and there are some side effects:
- Some women find the drug makes them irritable or restless and gives them headaches,Â breast tenderness, mild abdominal discomfort or hot flushes
- A few get more severe side effects such as nausea and vomiting or vision difficulties, in which case they will need to stop the treatment immediately
Because it stimulates the ovaries, a woman may produce more than one egg in each cycle,Â which can result in a pregnancy of twins (or, rarely, more). While a multiple pregnancy occurs for only about one in 15 women who conceive while taking clomiphene, it isÂ something to consider before beginning treatment.