Conception Success with Clomid
Perhaps you've heard how the fertility medication known as Clomid helped a friend conceive and it sounds like something you'd like to try. You've heard that Clomid has one of the highest rates of success of the available fertility treatments. You've also heard that Clomid is one of the least expensive treatments available. So, you're wondering if Clomid could work for you.
Twists and Turns
The various fertility medications perform different tasks relating to conception and the act of conception itself has myriad twists and turns. Whether or not Clomid is the right drug for you depends on what is preventing you from conceiving. Clomid is a drug that helps to cause ovulation. That means that if your husband has sperm that are not such fast swimmers (motile), Clomid will do nothing to help things along. This is just one example where Clomid is not indicated. There are, of course, many situations where treatment with the drug would not be appropriate.
Tricks the Body
Clomid works by reacting with the tissues in your body that have estrogen receptors. Such tissues are found in the vagina, cervix, endometrium (the lining of the uterus), pituitary gland, ovaries, and hypothalamus. The effect of Clomid is to trick the body into believing that estrogen levels are low, causing gonadotropin releasing hormone to be secreted. This, in turn, brings on increased production of follicle stimulating and luteinizing hormones which leads to the body releasing one or more mature eggs. This release of mature eggs is the process of ovulation. Clomid is indicated for women who have difficulty ovulating, or who have trouble with the luteal phase of their cycles. The drug is also often beneficial for women who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
In addition to the need to determine the appropriateness of treating with Clomid, it bears taking into account the fact that ovulation and conception are not synonymous. In other words, while Clomid may help you to ovulate, this is no guarantee of conception. A look at the statistics show that somewhere between 40-80% of women treated with Clomid will succeed in ovulating. Of those who manage to ovulate while using the drug, only half of them will go on to conceive within 6 cycles (6 months).
There are drugs that have higher conception success rates, but of course, they cost more than Clomid and tend to pose a greater risk of side effects. Besides, the difference in conception rates is minimal—the rate of conception is not all that much higher with the other fertility drugs.
For all of these reasons, cost, minimal difference in success rates, fewer complications, doctors prefer to give Clomid first and see how it goes. Should Clomid not achieve the desired result, there are still other treatments to try.