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The 411 on Clomid

If you are trying to get pregnant but haven't had success, you might end up with a prescription for Clomiphene (or Clomid) sooner or later. This oral medication works with your body to jump-start ovulation, and while many other factors can cause infertility, treating irregular or nonexistent ovulation is a good place to start. According to the Mayo Clinic, the drug changes the hormones in the female body to induce ovulation and prepare the body for pregnancy. Before you get started on your protocol, here are a few things that you might want to know.

Side effects

Clomid is like any prescription and has a list of side effects. According to Dr. Sheeva Talebian, reproductive endocrinologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, up to 60 percent of women report side effects on Clomid. You might experience mood disturbances, bloating, headaches and hot flashes.

Every woman is different, and your side effects might be different. When I was on Clomid, I had mood symptoms that were a little more intense than an exceptionally cranky PMS week, but nothing prepared me for the hot flashes. My flashes surfaced in the middle of the night, and I often woke up with soaked pajamas, sheets and pillows. I found that rubbing a dusting of talcum powder on my skin before I went to bed, and anytime I "flashed," helped absorb the sweat and make me feel cooler instantly. I learned this tip from my mother who was going through menopause while I was taking Clomid. We were quite the pair of hot flashers!

Protocol

As with many fertility drugs, you will only take Clomid for a few days at a specific time in your cycle. Your reproductive endocrinologist will walk you through your specific protocol, but Dr. Talebian says that Clomid is usually taken on days 3-7 or 5-9. The first day of your period is counted as Day 1. Your treatment will likely be combined with ultrasounds. The ultrasounds will check to see if Clomid is doing its job and if follicles are developing.

Next steps

If you're not seeing success with Clomid, other treatments can help. Depending on your diagnosis, you will likely take Clomid for three cycles, and if you're still not pregnant, your reproductive endocrinologist will probably suggest other options to build your family.

What about my man?

Clomid is unique in that it can be prescribed for your partner too if he has a low sperm count or sperm with low motility. A man's protocol can be much longer than a woman's, but it can be successful in upping the number and quality of sperm. The drug is usually taken daily for up to 6 months.

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