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What Does Clomid Do?

If you’ve been struggling with infertility, chances are you’ve heard of the drug Clomid, which is often used as a first-line fertility treatment. But what exactly does Clomid do, and how does it work? We give you the breakdown below.

The What
Clomiphene Citrate—often sold as Clomid—is the most frequently prescribed ovulation drug. Most women take 50-100 mg each day in tablet form for five straight days, usually beginning in the third to fifth day after menstruation starts.

The How
Clomid blocks estrogen receptors, “tricking” your body into thinking it’s low in estrogen. This stimulates your pituitary gland to release more FSH, or follicle-stimulating hormone, and spurs the development of egg-carrying follicles. Then, about a week after your last tablet is taken, your LH, or luteinizing hormone level will surge, causing the mature follicle to release the egg during ovulation.

The Who
Clomid can be a helpful treatment for women who have ovulation difficulties—either from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or other ovulation disorders. If you have an irregular period or have been struggling trying to conceive (one year without success if you’re under 35 or six months if you’re over 35) you may have a problem ovulating. Your fertility doctor can run some tests to detect ovulation problems, and if they are found, may recommend Clomid to jumpstart ovulation.

For more information on Clomid, listen to what New York fertility doctor Eric Flisser, of Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York, has to say about the drug:

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