One of the most widely used fertility drugs, Clomiphene is used to stimulate brain hormones in order to cause the release of an egg, or eggs, every month. If you are familiar with fertility drugs, you have most likely seen this under the brand names of Clomid and Serophene.
Clomifene-How Does It Clomifene Work?
Basically what Clomifene/Clomiphene does is that is sends signals to receptors which in turn tell the body to cease making oestrogen, as there may have been levels of oestrogen which inhibited menstruation. Once these levels are reduced then the pituitary gland should increase the production of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and this encourages the ovaries to ripen eggs making them ready to be released. This then results in higher levels of lutenising hormone which is the hormone which commands the ovaries to release, which in turn leads to a period being stimulated.
The actual name of the active ingredient is 2-[4-(2-chloro-1,2-diphenylethenyl]phenoxy)-N,N-diethyl-ethanamine. Clomifene is what is known as
a SERM – selective oestrogen receptor modifier.
The aim of this fertility drug is therefore to bring the woman’s cycle into one that is regular. A woman’s fertile time lasts for about three days each month, which is when the egg cell has been released from one of her ovaries and then makes its journey down the fallopian tube to the woman’s womb (uterus). By making a woman’s cycle more predictable and regular, her chances of conception are greatly increased.
With Clomifene achieving this can take on average, between four to six menstrual cycles. Ovulation tests can also be used in order to know when an egg has been released. These tests are little sticks, quite like pregnancy tests, where they are tested with a small amount of the woman’s urine.
Possible Side Effects of Clomifene
Clomifene can frequently cause the ovaries to release more eggs, each time, rather than just one single egg. This means that the chances of twins or multiples being conceived are greatly increased. Of course some people may consider this a good thing rather than a side effect. There are couples and women who see it as an opportunity to complete their family sooner rather than later.
However multiple pregnancies are considered to carry higher risks. This said, the vast majority of multiple pregnancies do result in the delivery of healthy babies. This type of fertility drug may not be suitable in cases however where the possible mother to be has certain health problems which may add to the risk factors associated with multiple pregnancies.
In general Clomifene has been used for over 30 years for the treatment of female infertility and has a robust safety record.
Other side effects that may be experienced when taking Clomifene are similiar to PMT and menopausal symptoms. These include bloating, abdominal cramps, hot flushes, visual issues such as blurring and depth perception changes.
Some women may develop ovarian cysts while taking Clomifene but these normally heal after the drug has been ceased. There are rarer side effects also such as spotting, nausea, vomiting and alopecia.