Clomiphene Citrate, Clomid’s pharmacologic or generic name, is our oldest fertility medication. Thousands, if not millions, of babies have been born using this medication. It is FDA approved for ovulation induction. So, if a woman is not ovulating, Clomid may help her to ovulate so that she can then conceive. Alternatively, if a woman does ovulate already, taking Clomid may help her to ovulate more eggs during the cycle. As a result of ovulating more than one egg, there is an 8% chance of twins after Clomid use (1% of women spontaneously conceive twins in comparison).
Usually this oral medication is taken for 5 days at the beginning of the menstrual cycle (starting on cycle day 3-5). Then, five days after completing the medication, we assess with blood hormonal testing and ultrasound exam if there is any sign of impending ovulation (checking for a dominant follicle developing). Then, you will know exactly when you are ovulating so that you can have intercourse to maximize your chances of conceiving.
Although Clomid is easy to take because it is a pill, it can produce side effects. More than 50% of women experience hot flashes—their neck and face feel hot for a minute or two and then it subsides. Other women have headaches or mood swings. These side effects should resolve shortly after completing the medication. Other undesirable side effects from Clomid use include a thin endometrium that is unable to support implantation and unfavorable cervical mucus that is too viscus preventing sperm from being able to climb through the cervix to find and fertilize an egg.