Curious about Clomid? In this post, I’m sharing how to take Clomid, side effects of Clomid, a Clomid calculator to determine when you’ll ovulate, and how to increase your chances of getting pregnant with twins!
Hi friends, and #slayathomebabes!
I recently shared on Instagram that since we reached the one-year mark trying to conceive baby #3, my doctor prescribed me Clomid (also known as the generic Clomiphene).
Since sharing that we’ve decided to enlist fertility drugs to help us conceive, I’ve received tons of questions from ‘How does it work?’ to ‘What are the side effects?’
What makes me qualified to tell you about Clomid?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
I am NOT a medical professional.
I’m just a mom trying to have a baby, and I have experience taking Clomid to try to get pregnant.
I originally shared our story of TTC for baby #3 on Instagram, and have gotten so many questions about it that I decided to turn it into a post.
My hope for you is that you can use the information in this post as a resource to determine if you should talk to your doctor about getting Clomid prescribed to you, determine when you ovulate, and learn about the possible benefits, risks, and side effects that come with taking a fertility drug like Clomid.
I’m breaking down the wall and sharing everything you need to know about taking Clomid when trying to get pregnant…
*This post contains affiliate links to support my blog at no cost to you – all opinions are my own. Information in this post is current to the date at the top.
What Is Clomid?
Clomid is an oral medication used to help stimulate ovulation.
What Dosages Does Clomid Come In?
Clomid comes in 50mg tablets.
Depending on your prescription, you may need to take anywhere from 1-3 tabs per day for 5 days.
Most doctors will start you out on one 50mg per day for 5 days.
If you don’t conceive the first cycle, your doctor will most likely up the medication amount by 50mg, so you would take 100mg (or two 50mg tabs) per day for 5 days.
Why Take Clomid For Fertility
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Clomid (clomiphene) is not only great for helping stimulate ovulation (and without ovulation, there is no fertilization), it’s one of the cheapest solutions you can try to boost your chances of getting pregnant. IUI or IVF can cost tens of thousands of dollars to achieve, whereas the generic clomiphene costs about $30-$75 per month without insurance.
To put things into perspective….
IUI (intrauterine insemination), also known as artificial insemination, costs an average of $895 per treatment but can result in around $3,000 per cycle with comprehensive care included.
IVF (in-vitro fertilization) costs an average of $19,000 for your first cycle.
We only paid $8 for one cycle of Clomid with insurance!
How To Take Clomid
What Days Should I Take Clomid?
Your doctor will provide you with the best days in your cycle to take Clomid.
Here are the three most common cycle days your doctor will prescribe:
- Cycle days 2-6
- Cycle days 3-7 (the most common)
- Cycle days 5-9
You’ll only take the medication for five days on the days your doctor tells you to.
What Is The First Day Of My Cycle?
The first day of your cycle is the day you start your period.
Use a free app to keep track of your cycles to make it easier to remember!
So if your doctor tells you to take your Clomid RX on days 3-7, start taking it two days after you start your period (on cycle day 3).
How Long Do I Have To Wait For My Doctor To Prescribe Clomid?
Some doctors, like mine, like you to actively try to get pregnant for a year before prescribing fertility drugs like Clomid.
But, if you are impatient and have already waited 6-9 months to get pregnant with no luck, give your doctor a call to talk about getting your hormone levels checked.
They will draw some blood, run a few tests, and report back to you within a few days.
BTW, I’ve read about plenty of women who have had a fertility workup done prior to the one-year mark and have been prescribed clomiphene.
How Does Clomid Work?
“It works by stimulating an increase in the amount of hormones that support the growth and release of a mature egg (ovulation).” –Source.
It blocks estrogen receptors at the hypothalamus, which is then stimulated to release follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH). These two naturally-occurring hormones together prompt ovulation.
What Is FSH?
FSH stands for follicle-stimulating hormone. FSH is responsible for the growth of ovarian follicles. The ovarian follicles are then responsible for releasing an egg during ovulation.
What Is LH?
LH stands for luteinizing hormone and is another hormone that is released by the pituitary gland. Right before ovulation, a surge of LH occurs, causing the egg to be released by the ovarian follicle(s).
Can I Take Clomid Even If I Already Ovulate?
Yes, you can!
You’ll need to get tested to ensure that your hormone levels are where they should be and may need to do some blood work for a couple of cycles to see if you’re ovulating and how strong of ovulation you had, but your doctor can still prescribe clomiphene if you’re ovulating.
Clomiphene not only helps stimulate the ovaries to ovulate and release an egg, but they can also help ensure the ovulation you have is indeed strong and not weak.
What To Expect When Taking Clomid
Side Effects Of Clomid
You have probably already heard of the intense mood swings that accompany this particular fertility drug…
Not everyone will experience these, but here are some common clomiphene side effects to keep in mind (according to RXList):
- abnormal vaginal/uterine bleeding,
- breast tenderness or discomfort,
- blurred vision or other visual disturbances, or
- ovarian enlargement presenting as abdominal or pelvic pain, tenderness, pressure, or swelling.
- Clomid may increase the likelihood of multiple births.
- Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) may occur: ovarian enlargement, severe GI symptoms, abdominal swelling, shortness of breath, pleural effusions, decreased urination. Seek medical care if these symptoms develop.
Clomid Side Effects To Watch Out For
While Clomid has helped many women conceive, it isn’t for everyone.
If you experience any of the following side effects while taking Clomid, you should contact your doctor immediately:
- intense nausea
- severe abdominal or pelvic pain
- severe bloating
- sudden rapid weight gain
These symptoms are problematic and may prompt a visit to the E.R. and be a reason to discontinue Clomid completely.
Please contact your doctor if you notice any of these side effects – your OBGYN will have an after-hours number you can call.
Risks Of Taking Clomid
While not entirely common, there are always risks to taking a drug like Clomid.
Here are some risks you need to know about before starting treatment:
- Twin or multiple pregnancy – while some women would consider a twin or multiple pregnancy to be a Godsend, pregnancies with multiples come with their own complications. Some multiple pregnancy complications include gestational diabetes, anemia, birth defects, miscarriage, preterm labor, etc.
- Irreversible vision disturbances – “Extremely rare, only in those who continue treatment after vision disturbance began. In those who discontinued treatment, vision disturbance stopped after three days.” – Source
- Ovarian cysts
- Ovarian cancer
- OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome)
For these reasons, your doctor will most likely start you off on the lowest dose at 50mg for 5 days.
How Long Can I Take Clomid?
Many doctors recommend taking Clomid for a maximum of 6 cycles.
When To Have Sex While Taking Clomid
How Often Should I Have Sex While Taking Clomid?
Having sex every day or every other day is best when taking clomiphene.
Ideally, you should start having sex before ovulation so that sperm is ready and waiting in the fallopian tubes to fertilize the egg.
This will give you better chances of conceiving. Try not to take more than a day between making love.
Tracking Your Fertility
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Remember to track your cycle in its entirety while taking a drug like Clomid.
There are tons of free period and ovulation trackers to serve as a handy fertility calendar and help you keep track of your period, when your fertile window is, symptoms you’re experiencing, and when you and your partner have actively tried.
Use this Clomid calculator to determine when you are likely ovulating!
It’s a great fertile window calculator that can help you and your partner pinpoint when to try, try, try!
Signs Of Ovulation
Not all women experience the symptoms of ovulation, but here are some common signs you are ovulating:
- Positive OPK (Ovulation Predictor Kit) test
- Egg-White cervical mucus – resembles egg-whites (hence the name), and should stretch a few inches between your forefinger and thumb
- Sustained BBT (Basal Body Temperature) Increase – use a thermometer to track your temperature each morning before getting out of bed, and enter the data in a fertility tracking app
- Increase sexual desire – Mother Nature wants you to get pregnant, and knows how to make that happen!
- Breast tenderness
- Ovulation pain (also known as Mittelschmerz Pain) – temporary sharp pain in the lower abdomen
- Fertile cervical position – the cervix will be higher, softer, and slightly open
How Long Does Ovulation Last
Ovulation is thought to last somewhere between 12 and 48 hours, although you are probably fertile for a window of 5-10 days.
Clomid Success Rate
80% of women who take Clomid will ovulate, while 10/12% will successfully conceive.
How To Take Clomid For Twins*
*I say this with caution: there’s no way I or anyone else could guarantee you will/would/could/should get pregnant with twins. But, there are certain genetic and physical advantages you may have that could increase your chances, including height, weight, age, and family history…
Do twins run in your family?
If they do, especially on your mother’s side, you have a higher chance of conceiving twins yourself!
Ethnicity also plays a role in your chances of conceiving multiples.
For instance, African-American women are more likely to conceive twins than Caucasian women, and Caucasian women are more likely than Asian or Latin women.
Do you already have a set of twins in your brood?
If you’ve already given birth to multiples, you have an increased chance of doubling the number of doubles in subsequent pregnancies.
Are you over the age of 35?
Being older helps your odds of conceiving twins because you start releasing more than one egg per cycle due to a higher level of FSH.
Is your BMI 25+?
Studies have shown that women who have a BMI (body mass index) of 25 or more are more likely to conceive twins or multiples.
Clomid Twins – How Does Clomid Increase My Chances?
Because clomiphene helps with ovulation and ovarian follicles, more than one egg may be released from stimulated follicles. When the sperm reaches both eggs and fertilizes them, you’re pregnant with multiples!
How To Get Pregnant With Twins
While there is no real for sure way to ensure you get pregnant with twins, there are some easy lifestyle changes you can make to increase your chances naturally…
- Eat a diet rich in protein and dairy
- Take fertility drugs (that are prescribed by a doctor) like Clomid
- Try to conceive immediately after coming off birth control pills or while you are still on the pill
- Try to conceive while breastfeeding
- Have lots of babies – the idea is that the more babies you birth, the more likely you are to conceive twins
- Take a folic acid supplement prior to conceiving
- Eat more yams!
Overall, having twins is really just a great stroke of luck!
Purchasing RX Drugs Online
Please, if you take anything away from this article, I hope that it’s that you should speak to your doctor about taking Clomid and paying the $10 for a legit prescription…
Taking Unprescribed Clomid Risks
When buying from an online pharmacy, you are taking a HUGE risk to your health, and the health of your future baby.
There’s no guarantee that the drugs you’ll receive online are actually clomiphene, or that they won’t further damage your reproductive health in the process of taking them.
Personally, I’ve read a few forums online where women claim to have purchased Clomid online that did not resemble the drug other women have been prescribed!
When Can I Take A Pregnancy Test
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While most doctors recommend waiting until the first day of your missed period (which is where those FREE fertility apps come in hand), many women receive a positive pregnancy test result 10 days after ovulation!
The reason for this is that your body needs to build up enough of the HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) hormone to register on a home pregnancy test.
If you’re itching to find out you’re pregnant and can’t stand the two-week wait, your doctor can perform a blood pregnancy test that can give you a test result 7-10 days after the date of conception.
A blood pregnancy test may be an out-of-pocket expense, so be sure to consult with your insurance company prior to scheduling a blood test each month!
Tips For Getting Pregnant On Clomid
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Take Clomid At Night
Judging from my experience (and those of hundreds of other women on forums like BabyCenter), taking Clomid at night can help because you mostly sleep through the side effects!
This might mean an uncomfortable sleep at night because of the hot flashes, but at least you won’t be sweating through your T-shirt and dousing yourself with that spare water bottle in your purse in line at the bank.
Not that that’s ever happened to me…
Be Sure To Let Your Husband or Significant Other That You’ll Be More Moody Than Usual
If you’ve been researching Clomid enough now, you’ve probably seen or heard the phrase, ‘Clomid Crazies’ being thrown around.
Almost half of all women will experience some kind of mood disturbance while taking Clomid, whether that be depression or mood swings.
Of course, the experience is unique to the person taking it and can affect you differently depending on your individual hormone levels, whether you have a tendency towards anxiety and depression, or if you have a history of PMS mood swings.
Clomid tricks your body into thinking its estrogen levels are low by blocking some of your estrogen receptors, making your body work to increase those estrogen levels.
And when your body thinks that your estrogen levels are low, it will react the same way it would if they actually were low – with a feeling of increased depression or anxiety.
Explain to your significant other that you might snap, be short with them, or experience mood swings, and ask them to support you during this time.
Remember to Schedule Your Progesterone Test
On day 21 of your cycle, you should have your progesterone level tested.
This is done by having a blood draw completed, and can most often be done in your OB’s office.
They may even have a designated blood draw section in the office dedicated to drawing blood and packaging it for the testing lab.
Testing your progesterone level is a great way to monitor your hormone levels and determine if you ovulated, and how strong of an ovulation it was.
Most testing labs take 2-3 business days to get the results back to your doctor, who will call you with the results.
This test will not be able to tell you if you are pregnant already, however.
I hope this post has helped answer some of your biggest questions when it comes to taking Clomid.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I highly recommend consulting with a licensed OB prior to taking this medication, and fully educating yourself on the risks, side effects, and possible outcomes for your fertility.
*Post originally published May 2019, last updated October 2021.