Medication That Could Help You Get Pregnant

If you are having trouble getting pregnant, the fertility drug Clomid may be one of the first fertility treatments you consider. Clomid is often prescribed by Ob/Gyns and is the first step into fertility treatments for many couples. If not successful, more advanced treatments may be recommended.

What Is Clomid?

Often, a woman experiences infertility because she is not ovulating regularly or not ovulating at all. When this happens, a fertility doctor may use controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) to stimulate the growth and development of ovarian follicles to produce multiple eggs and increase the chances of getting pregnant.

To stimulate the ovaries, the woman takes fertility medications. There are many different kinds of stimulation medications, both in pill form and injectables. However, one of the most common and simple fertility medications is clomiphene citrate (Clomid). Clomid is a first-line fertility treatment that blocks estrogen receptors and "tricks" a woman's body into thinking it is low in estrogen. This trick stimulates the production of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), both of which are needed to induce ovulation.

What Is the Dosage?

Clomid is taken orally and may be used alone or in conjunction with other fertility treatments such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF). In general, the fertility doctor prescribes a dose of 50 mg daily for five days. Your fertility doctor will determine whether this dosage is helping you to ovulate. If you are not ovulating, your fertility doctor will increase the dosage incrementally.

Generally, a baseline blood and ultrasound are performed early in the menstrual cycle, and Clomid is started within three to five days of the beginning of the cycle. The fertility doctor monitors your response to the fertility medication through blood tests and ultrasound and may give you an HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) trigger shot when the follicles are mature. Then, sex or insemination is timed for about 36 hours after the trigger shot.

What Are the Chances for Success on Clomid?

Your fertility doctor will use the lowest dose of Clomid that is sufficient to induce ovulation for at least four to six cycles. Clomid will induce ovulation in about 80 percent of properly selected patients, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's Medications for Inducing Ovulation. Approximately 40 to 45 percent of women will become pregnant within six cycles after receiving Clomid. If a couple has no other fertility issues, their odds of getting pregnant when using Clomid can range from 10 percent to 20 percent, similar to a fertile couple trying on their own.

Women who have very low estrogen levels, irregular or absent ovulation due to a hypothalmic disorder, or who are obese have less chance of success on Clomid (For obese women, losing weight may increase the chances of success).

After six cycles of Clomid, the chances for success decrease significantly, and experts recommend moving to an alternative, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Leigh Ann McDonald Woodruff is a writer for FertilityAuthority. Established in 2009, FertilityAuthority is the leading web portal dedicated to fertility, encouraging women and men to be proactive regarding their fertility and providing the tools and information to do so.