Clomid if you want to have children? How does hormone treatment work?

Clomiphene is an active ingredient that is used in the hormonal treatment of women who want to have children. Clomiphene is intended to stimulate the production of egg cells on the one hand and ovulation on the other. Here you can read exactly how clomiphene works and what the chances of success of the treatment are.

When is clomiphene used?

Some women ovulate irregularly or not at all, making it difficult for them to conceive. In such cases, taking the drug clomiphene has proven itself as a treatment method. The active ingredient is said to improve fertility in women by positively influencing their hormonal balance. Clomiphene is not only popular because it is easy to use, but also because it has comparatively few side effects and still achieves good results.

How does clomiphene affect hormone balance?

Clomiphene is an anti-estrogen, i.e. an active ingredient that simulates a lack of estrogen in the female body. In order to compensate for this supposed lack of estrogen, hormones are released via the pituitary gland. The follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) stimulates the ovaries and more eggs, and therefore more oestrogen, are produced. Luteinizing hormone (LH) stimulates ovulation. Therefore, for the next 12 to 24 hours after taking clomiphene, there is an increased chance that a mature egg cell will be fertilized.

How does clomiphene treatment work?

Clomiphene is most commonly prescribed in pill form because it is so easy to do at home. The dosage is set individually by the treating doctor, but is usually 25 to 50 milligrams per tablet, one of which is taken daily.

The treatment begins between the third and fifth day of the cycle, calculated from the onset of the period, and you take one tablet for five days in a row. If the hormone treatment works well, ovulation should occur about a week after the last dose. If there is still no ovulation 20 days after the last dose, the treatment is repeated in the next cycle.

Your doctor will monitor the maturation of the egg cells in several ultrasound examinations during the treatment. In this way, he can determine how many follicles are developing and whether ovulation actually occurs. Some blood is also taken in each cycle to measure changes in the hormone balance.

Everyone’s body responds differently to treatment, and sometimes it takes a while for hormone therapy to kick in. Most patients are supported for a maximum of six cycles with clomiphene , since the chances of success usually decrease after that. If the therapy does not work for you, there are other fertility-enhancing preparations and methods that may bring you even closer to your desire to have children. Your doctor will give you detailed advice on this.

What are the chances of success of treatment with clomiphene?

In 70 to 80 percent of women who take clomiphene, the eggs develop well and ovulation occurs. Although the treatment is no guarantee of pregnancy, the chances improve significantly. Between 15 and 50 percent of women become pregnant after taking clomiphene, most within the first three months of treatment. The wide range of numbers results from the numerous factors that help determine the chances of pregnancy, for example the age of the mother or the sperm quality of the partner . You can analyze these factors in advance together with your doctor in order to assess your individual chances of success.

By the way: It is not uncommon for more than one egg cell to mature and be released while taking clomiphene. This explains the relatively high rate of multiple pregnancies, mostly twins, of around five percent in the context of clomiphene treatment.

What side effects can treatment with clomiphene have?

  • Hormonal fertility treatments may have mild side effects that resemble the symptoms of menopause. You may experience hot flashes, sweats, and occasional dizziness . Sometimes there are also nausea, abdominal pain and headaches, slight visual disturbances or insomnia . The hormone changes can also affect your mood, which can make you cranky, nervous, and irritable for no reason .
  • In about five percent of cases, so-called ovarian cysts form as a result of hormone therapy . These are small, fluid-filled sacs on the ovaries that usually do not cause any symptoms and go away on their own. However, if they continue to grow and cause you pain, they should be removed by a small operation.
  • The apparently low level of estrogen sometimes causes changes in the mucous membranes of the uterus and cervix. Both can worsen the conditions for conceiving a child, since fertilization of the egg cell and implantation are made more difficult. Therefore, your doctor should also regularly check the quality of the endometrium and cervical mucus.
  • For a time, clomiphene, like other hormonal drugs, was suspected of increasing the risk of ovarian cancer. Studies have so far found no connections between hormone therapy and cancer.

What if the clomiphene treatment doesn’t work?

If you’ve had clomiphene treatment and still haven’t gotten pregnant, don’t be discouraged. Discuss possible causes with your doctor. If your body does not respond adequately to therapy, clomiphene can be supplemented or replaced with other hormonal treatments, such as gonadotropin injections. If you have not already done so, your partner should also be examined to rule out possible infertility on his part . Even if it turns out that the desire to have children is difficult to fulfill naturally, the various methods of modern fertility medicine can help you.

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