• Dr Peter Chew

Ovulation drug clomid and its effects

I am trying to conceive after having married for 3 years. I have been prescribed the ovulation drug, clomid. I would like to know how the medication work. Any side effects?


Clomid or clomiphene citrate is the most commonly prescribed drug used to stimulate ovulation in women with infrequent or absent ovulation. It is also used empirically for treating women with unexplained infertility.


Clomiphene is usually given on day 2 to day 5 of the menstrual cycle. It works by causing the pituitary gland (a small pea- size gland at the base of the brain) to secrete more FSH (follicular stimulating hormone). This hormone will stimulate the development of follicles (small sacs in the ovary) that contain the eggs. With good response, the egg will be released by ovulation from the mature follicle about a week to 10 days after clomiphene is taken.


Clomiphene will bring about ovulation in about 80% of patients. To find out whether ovulation has occurred, doctor would rely on vaginal scan of the follicle, measurement of blood hormone levels, ovulation prediction kits, secretion from the cervix (neck of the womb) or the basal body temperature chart.



Clomiphene is generally well tolerated. There are usually few side effects which are generally mild. Hot flashes occur in about 10% of women and typically disappear soon after treatment ends. Mood swings, breast tenderness, and nausea can happen. Severe headaches, blurred or double vision are rare but always reversible. Women who conceive with clomiphene have about 10% chance of having twins. Triplets are rare (<1%). Ovarian cysts, which can cause pelvic discomfort and a bloated feeling in the tummy, may form as a result of ovarian stimulation. This usually subsides with time. It is important to do an ultrasound to make sure that the ovarian cysts disappear before beginning another clomiphene treatment cycle.

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