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When it comes to fertility treatments, Clomid is one of the most commonly mentioned drugs. But for those unfamiliar with the specifics of reproductive medicine, the question remains: what exactly does Clomid do? In this article, we delve into the mechanisms of action, benefits, and potential risks associated with Clomid.

Origins and Composition

Clomid, whose generic name is clomiphene citrate, is a synthetic drug originally designed for use as an ovulatory stimulant. The medication falls under the category of selective oestrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), which means it influences oestrogen receptors in the body.

Mechanism of Action

To truly understand Clomid’s role, one must first grasp the workings of the menstrual cycle and the role of oestrogen in female reproduction.

  • The Role of Oestrogen: Oestrogen, a key female hormone, helps regulate the menstrual cycle by controlling the growth and release of eggs from the ovaries. Naturally, as oestrogen levels rise, this signals the pituitary gland to decrease the production of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
  • How Clomid Works: Clomid essentially tricks the body into believing that oestrogen levels are lower than they actually are. This perceived decrease in oestrogen prompts the pituitary gland to produce more FSH and luteinising hormone (LH). The increase in these hormones then stimulates the ovaries to produce more eggs and increase the chances of ovulation.

Benefits of Clomid

The primary benefit of Clomid is its ability to induce ovulation in women who otherwise might not ovulate regularly or at all. This can be invaluable for those trying to conceive.

  • Cost-Effective: Compared to other fertility treatments, Clomid is relatively inexpensive and is often one of the first options recommended by fertility specialists.
  • Oral Administration: Unlike some fertility treatments that require injections, Clomid is taken orally, making it a less invasive option.
  • Increased Chances of Multiple Births: While this can be seen as a benefit or a risk, Clomid does increase the chances of conceiving twins or higher-order multiples.

Potential Risks and Side Effects

While Clomid has been pivotal in helping many women conceive, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects and risks.

  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS): Some women may experience an exaggerated response to the drug, causing the ovaries to swell and become painful.
  • Mood Changes: Some women report mood swings, irritability, and emotional sensitivity while on Clomid.
  • Hot Flashes and Visual Disturbances: A minority of women might experience hot flashes or even temporary visual disturbances like blurriness or spots.
  • Multiple Births: As mentioned, there is an increased risk of multiple births, which carries its own set of potential complications during pregnancy.

It is crucial for patients to undergo clomid monitoring during treatment to ensure that the response is appropriate and to detect potential issues early.

Considerations Before Taking Clomid

Before starting Clomid, it’s essential for women to discuss their medical history and undergo a full evaluation with a fertility specialist. Some considerations include:

  • Duration of Use: Prolonged use of Clomid is generally not recommended. If ovulation hasn’t occurred after a certain number of cycles, alternative treatments might be considered.
  • Other Medications: Some medications might interact with Clomid, so always inform your doctor about any drugs or supplements you’re taking.
  • Underlying Conditions: Women with certain medical conditions, like liver disease, might not be suitable candidates for Clomid.


Clomid remains a cornerstone in fertility treatments due to its efficacy in inducing ovulation and its relatively mild side effect profile. However, like all medical interventions, it is vital to approach its use with a comprehensive understanding and under the guidance of a skilled medical professional.

Whether you’re considering Clomid or are merely curious about its functions, always seek expert advice for individualised guidance.