How Does Clomid Work?

The generic name of Clomid is clomiphene citrate. It is also sold under the brand name Serophene. Although not a miracle drug, clomiphene citrate is highly effective. That is the reason, perhaps, why it is also one of the most abused drugs in fertility treatment. Anyone undergoing fertility treatment needs to learn all she can about the methods and the drugs that are used at various stages.

Who should take Clomid?

Clomid is a fertility drug. It is given to women who have problems ovulating. Since ovulation is the first step towards achieving fertility, this medicine is widely used by doctors all over the world. 25% of women suffer from infertility because of anovulation, that is, problems with ovulation.

Clomid has a good track record. If you have ovulatory problems such as irregular ovulation, irregular periods, polycystic ovarian syndrome or absence of ovulation, then clomid is a drug that might benefit you. If there is unexplained infertility, that is if the woman is less than 35 years of age and has not been diagnosed with any medical problem that is creating infertility, and if her partner has no infertility issues, then clomiphene citrate is administered because it increases chances of conception.

How does Clomid work?

Clomid tricks the body into thinking that there is not enough estrogen in the system. This makes the body produce more FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and LH (Luteinizing Hormone) and stimulates the development of a higher number of follicles being produced and released by the ovaries.

Benefits of Clomid

Clomiphene citrate is not expensive and, because it is taken orally as a pill and not as an injection, it is easy to take. The medicine has been designed to make women ovulate—and it does this 80% of the time. That means 80% of the women who take this medicine will ovulate in the first month.

However, out of these only 40% of the women will achieve successful pregnancy. This means that not everyone benefits from Clomid and a fertility doctor should conduct all of a couple’s tests before making the decision to administer this drug. The good news is that 30% of the women who take this medicine will achieve pregnancy in the first month.

Side Effects of Clomid

The following side effects have been reported. Most of them will, however, disappear after the discontinuation of the drug:

  • nausea
  • blurred vision
  • ovarian enlargement
  • formation of ovarian cysts
  • hot flashes
  • mood swings
  • headaches
  • multiple births – although for most women, the idea of having twins is exciting, multiple pregnancies increase the chance of miscarriage and result in a more complicated pregnancy.
  • infertile cervical mucus – this is a serious side effect. Clomid may, at times, produce dry or hostile cervical mucus. Since this mucus helps the sperm to swim towards the uterus, hostile cervical mucus may hamper the sperm’s ability to impregnate a woman.
  • thinning of uterus lining – Clomid can negatively affect a patient’s uterus lining, making it harder for the egg to implant.

Who should not take Clomid?

Clomid does not work so well on overweight patients, women with premature ovarian failure, women with low body weight due to anorexia and exercise associated amenorrhea (no menstruation).

Make Clomid work for you

Before taking any fertility treatment insist that your doctor makes you undergo all necessary tests. Your partner’s sperm count and quality should be tested before you are placed on any type of fertility treatment. A correct diagnosis can make the difference between a successful pregnancy or a failure to conceive and worst, loss of a pregnancy.

If you have been prescribed clomiphene citrate, make sure that your doctor is monitoring its results. You will need to find out if the medicine is producing ovulation. It is amazing how many doctors fail to do this. To monitor ovulation, you can use a fertility monitor or take your basal body temperature every day.

The body temperature rises up to one Fahrenheit (half degree Celsius) in a woman after ovulation. Your doctor may also do a blood test to see if you are ovulating. If ovulation is taking place but you are not able to conceive or are not able to maintain the pregnancy then there is some other problem that has not been diagnosed.

If you have taken Clomid and it has not worked in six cycles, make sure that your doctor does all your tests before putting you on any further treatment.

Human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG), such as Pergonal, Repronex and Metrodin may be used to stimulate the ovaries.

Only a woman who has undergone an infertility treatment knows the physical, emotional and financial pain of it. Be an informed patient. Do not hesitate in asking questions and do your research before being part of a fertility treatment.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.


  1. Clomid Offical FDA information, side effects and Uses
  2. RxList, The Internet Drug Index

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