Most women struggling with infertility are more than familiar with Clomid, and less than excited to try it. These little white pills have a really bad rap, and for some it has totally earned it. For all of the ladies just starting your journey, (or the poor significant other that will have to deal with you) I am going to give you the run down on what really to expect when you are handed the prescription for the devil pill.
Clomid, or its generic brand Clomiphene Citrate, is a medication given to women who are unable to ovulate naturally. Clomid works its magic by confusing your body into thinking its Estrogen is lower than it is, which increases the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This encourages the ovaries to produce an egg follicle, or sometimes multiple follicles, which will be released during ovulation. If all goes according to plan, those eggs will be turned into cute little babies. 🙂 And I do say babies, like multiple. Women who take Clomid are 10% more likely to have twins. In my eyes, with all the work it took to get pregnant, I might as well get it all over with at once. GIVE ME THE TWINS.
Anyways, in most cases Clomid is prescribed by an OB-GYN. This is generally the first step in starting fertility treatments. If this doesn’t work, you will then (usually) be referred to a specialist. The starting dose for Clomid is in most cases 50 mg per day. If it works, GREAT! on to pregnancy. If it doesn’t, they will move you up to 100 mg, then 150 mg, and so on. I did five rounds, up to 250 mg. It is not recommended to do more than six because it could have adverse reactions to the baby makin’ organs. It can actually decrease your chance of getting pregnant with extended use. Whhatttt?? We clearly don’t need any help in that department! My Gyno decided after five tries, with little stimulation, that I should move onto the HSG (see previous blog about this!) and referred me to a specialist.
The worst part about Clomid is a combination of the strict schedule that comes along with it, and the dreaded side effects (insert raging hormone lunatic emoji here). First, I will go over the agenda. ** This is what my Dr. instructed me do, this is just a guide. Your directions may be slightly different.**
- Cycle Day (CD) one is considered the first day of your menstrual cycle. You don’t want to consider light spotting day one, wait until Aunt Flo unpacks and gets settled in. To start my cycle I take Provera for 5 days. It’s like an entire month of birth control packed into 5 pills. No bueno.
- On CD’s three through seven you will be scheduled to take the Clomid. Depending on the mg’s you have been prescribed, you may have 1-5 pills per day. take all of them at the same time.
- CD 10-20 your Dr. will instruct you to have timed intercourse every other day. I have also heard some women say they were told every day. I was informed that there needs to be a day between to let the sperm “recharge”. Eww.
- Cycle Day 11 an ultrasound should be scheduled. This will check your follicle activity, which will hopefully show an egg making party.
- CD 21 you should be headed to the lab for blood work. They will do a progesterone test to see if you have ovulated! The levels you want for this test would be between 1.7-27. on Clomid I never got here 🙁 . But once I saw the specialist and was prescribed Femera (another ovulation inducing medication) I did reach 9.17, which still isn’t the greatest but at least on the spectrum.
- CD 28 is the point you should be able to start taking pregnancy tests. Don’t give up yet if it is negative, it is still early. If by CD 35 they are still negative, it’s time to start the whole process over again. Yipeeee…
The other part to Clomid, and the one you probably are the most nervous about is the side effects. the most common are:
- hot flashes
- breast tenderness
- mood swings
- and last but certainly not least, vision changes.
Sounds like a whole lot of fun, right? Ummm nope. Not for yourself OR your significant other. I had the headaches, and I had slight moodiness (Mike would probably say more than slight, but he knows better) but for me it was the HOT FLASHES! Good lord, was I a hot mess. I’m talking soaking wet, red-faced, just came back from a visit with Satan hot. And the worst part is it would come out of no where. One minute fine, then BAM wet dog status. This would last from the first day of Clomid until about 2 days after finishing them. I did notice that the hot flashes got worse the higher my dose was, if that’s any consolation to you ladies. My suggestion would be to take these at night. Granted the night sweats are no fun, but you can sleep through a lot of the other symptoms.
The most important thing to remember is what you’re working towards. A baby has to be at the end of this crappy, sweaty, tunnel. Stay positive. And ladies try to be nice to your other halves. I know they are irking you just by breathing your air, but I promise it’s not their faults. <3
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