IVF and Fertility Specialists Clinic
Side Effects and Adverse Effects of Clomid, Clomiphene Citrate, Fertility Drug
Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago
Page author Richard Sherbahn MD
Background information on Clomid
Clomid, or clomiphene citrate (generic), is a medication commonly used in women for the treatment of infertility. It is often used to induce ovulation in women that do not develop and release an egg (ovulate) on their own.
Clomid is also used to stimulate extra follicles and eggs in the ovaries of women that already ovulate without medications.
How does Clomid work?
Clomid works as an “anti-estrogen” that tricks the brain into thinking that estrogen levels in the body are very low. It does this by binding to estrogen receptors in the brain and blocking the ability of estrogen to bind to those receptors. The brain then thinks that estrogen levels are very low so a process begins that increases release of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). FSH is the hormone involved with stimulating development of mature follicles (egg containing structures) in the ovary.
Many women will have side effects when taking Clomid. Many of the side effects and adverse effects of clomiphene are brought about by its anti-estrogenic properties.
Clomid side effectsClomid treatment has some potential for adverse effects. Side effects are definite "cons" of clomiphene use. Adverse effects are seen in some, but not all women using the drug.
Mood swings, psychological and emotional side effects
Psychological or emotional side effects are pretty common while taking Clomid. Approximately one fourth of women will have some negative psychological side effects with Clomid. They are often described as "severe mood swings" or "increased irritability".
Many women say they have "really bad PMS" while taking the drug. Some women will not have these side effects at all. These side effects are usually tolerable, but some women will discontinue the medication because of this.
Hot flashes are sometimes experienced as a side effect of Clomid. These are similar to the hot flashes that menopausal women experience. They are annoying and are usually not severe enough to stop taking the medication.
Visual abnormalities such as seeing flashes or spots or having blurred vision are sometimes experienced. When these abnormalities occur Clomid should be discontinued.
Thinning of the uterine endometrial lining
Some women will have a thin uterine lining (endometrium) during Clomid treatment cycles. This is a result of the anti-estrogenic effect. During a natural menstrual cycle estrogen stimulates development of a thickened endometrium.
Reduced production of cervical mucous
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