Are You Caught in the Clomid Over-Prescription Cycle?

For many women who are having trouble getting pregnant, the first medication prescribed for them will be an oral pill known as clomiphene citrate, known most commonly under its brand name, Clomid. While this medication proves to be highly effective for many women, others may find themselves taking Clomid for months on end, without success. So, how do you know when it is time to move on to other medications which might be more effective for you?

Clomid works by helping the brain to stimulate the ovaries, thus producing more eggs. It often proves helpful for women under the age of 38 who do not ovulate at all (anovulation) or, for women of that age group who need to enhance their fertility. Since Clomid does not stimulate the ovaries directly it is not as powerful as injected medications, known as gonadotropins. For many women, it is often enough to do the trick.

But, here's the thing. Clomid, unfortunately, can sometimes be an over-prescribed medication, even by doctors who care about you and have your best interests at heart. It is up to you to be proactive on your own behalf, and to make sure that you do not fall into the Clomid over-prescription cycle.

One way you can be your own best advocate is to make sure that you do not begin taking Clomid unless you have already received a complete infertility workup and have full information about yours, and your partner's, reproductive systems. It is important to note that many people experience several causes of infertility simultaneously, such as blocked fallopian tubes, unresolved infections, or male factor infertility in their partners. Treating anovulation without addressing any additional symptoms or disorders you may have will ultimately wind up costing you time, money, and most importantly, emotional strife.

If you are seeing a fertility specialist, a physical exam will be performed, and a sperm sample will be requested from your partner if you are in a couple. Your doctor will also want information about your medical history and your family's medical history. Questions asked will include information about your menstrual cycle, STD exposure, and lifestyle choices, including workplace environment and exposure to toxins. Since some causes of infertility seem to run in families, your physician will also be looking for information about certain conditions that may exist in yours, such as premature ovarian failure, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian disease, diabetes, celiac disease and others.

In addition, your age will be taken into consideration. Clomid is not typically recommended for women over 38 years of age, particularly in those who have diminished ovarian reserve.

Want to learn more? Click here to read Path2Parenthood's comprehensive fact sheet on this topic.

Click here to watch a short video featuring Dan Williams, M.D. of the Houston Fertility Institute.

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