Clomiphene Citrate: Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects

Clomiphene Citrate: Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects

For those who are trying to conceive, they might often hear the medical term clomiphene citrate. This is primarily because of how it is effective in inducing ovulation for women who do not produce ova, but wish to become pregnant. Clomiphene citrate belongs to a group of drugs known as “Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators” or SERMs, which are collectively called ovulation induction agents, or ovulatory stimulants. It functions similarly to estrogen, a female hormone that allows eggs to grow and be released from the ovaries.

Clomiphene Citrate is deemed to be the only FDA-approved drug for infertility in both men and women. It is marketed as a "first-line" reproductive treatment for irregular ovulation and low sperm count. And with several studies conducted for the safety of clomiphene citrate, it has actually been proven to be both safe and effective, as well as being relatively low in cost. The first successful clinical studies for this fertility drug, which was used for ovulation induction, took place in 1967. Clomiphene citrate, in either its oral or injectable form, can help those with reproductive issues.

Moreover, clomiphene citrate is also used to treat absent or irregular menstrual cycles to treat luteal phase defect by increasing progesterone secretion during the second half of the cycle, and to improve the timing of intercourse or artificial insemination by making menstrual cycle lengths more predictable. Clomiphene can also be used to boost ovulation in already-ovulating women, which is also referred to as ovulation augmentation.

Male infertility, menstruation irregularities, fibrocystic breasts, and persistent breast milk production are all treated with clomiphene citrate, apart from being a cure for infertility between women. But before you take this medication, you must first understand how it works, what are its benefits, and even its side effects and risks of using this medication for your illness. 

Clomiphene is available as a pill to be taken orally. It is normally taken once a day for five days, starting on or around the fifth day of the cycle. Take clomiphene at the same time every day to help you remember to take it. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and if there is anything you do not understand, ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain it to you. Clomiphene citrate should be taken exactly as prescribed. Do not take more or less of it, or take it more frequently than your doctor has suggested.

How Clomiphene Citrate Works

For women, clomiphene citrate works by preventing the hormone estrogen from being produced. The hypothalamus and pituitary glands in the brain are stimulated by this process, as a measure for creating multiple hormones necessary for egg follicle development. This includes follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), and luteinizing hormone (LH). The chances of ovulation and pregnancy normally increase as the egg grows in this case.

How clomiphene citrate works for men, on the other hand, also increases FSH and LH production. These hormones are also found in men, and are crucial for fertility. LH drives testosterone production, but FSH is essential in the early stage of sperm formation, or what medical experts refer to as spermatogenesis. An increase in testosterone levels allow sperm to pass through the female reproductive canal properly, and reach the developed egg. Furthermore, testosterone improves sexual function and sex drive.

Benefits of Clomiphene Citrate

Clomiphene citrate has been scientifically demonstrated to help men and women's health. This medicine helped women suffering from a variety of ovulatory problems to improve their ovulatory function. In line with this, it has proven to be of help in increasing pregnancy rate. The benefits of clomiphene citrate on fertility are supported by a large body of clinical research. This fertility medicine has been shown in studies to boost the chances of conception. And in order to get pregnant, women who are attempting to conceive should take clomiphene citrate for at least 6 cycles.

Clomiphene citrate therapy is linked to 6% of multiple pregnancies in women with PCOS. Moreover, studies have proven that the injection of 100 mg clomiphene citrate for 5 days enhanced the pregnancy rate by 20% in infertile women.

Clomiphene citrate treatment at doses ranging from 50 to 250 milligrams daily has also efficiently promoted ovulation and increased fertility in women with irregular ovulation. And when they are compared to metformin, clomiphene citrate medication leads to more ovulation and pregnancy in women with anovulation due to PCOS.

For men, on the other hand, clomiphene citrate also provides benefits involving the increase in fertility rates, by improving the quality of the sperm. Several high-quality studies have shown that clomiphene citrate treatment improves sperm quality, improving the likelihood of conception. Clomiphene citrate also dramatically boosted sperm quantities in infertile men, according to a review of multiple research. It also appears to increase sperm parameters when given to men with low sperm counts. Furthermore, clomiphene citrate treatment also dramatically boosted testosterone levels in young, obese men who are at high risk of infertility due to testosterone insufficiency.

Side Effects of Clomiphene Citrate

Though clomiphene citrate has been deemed to be effective in helping both men and women conceive, it still cannot be taken by anyone, as they may have side effects that can trigger other medical conditions. Remember that your doctor prescribed this medication because he believes that the benefit to you outweighs the risk of adverse effects. However, if these symptoms or side effects are experienced, severe, and do not go away, tell a medical expert right away, as some side effects can be serious. Such side effects include having blurred vision, visual spots or flashes, double vision, stomach or lower stomach pain and swelling, weight gain, and also shortness of breath. 

During the clomiphene citrate treatment, vision changes, such as blurred vision, seeing spots, or flashes, might occur. Especially if you are exposed to strong light. These adverse effects normally fade away within a few days or weeks of stopping medication. However, eyesight changes may be permanent in some circumstances. Consuming clomiphene citrate for a long time can also increase the risk of ovarian cancer. Thus, this medicine should only be used for six cycles at most.

Key Takeaway

With numerous studies that were conducted for the effectiveness of clomiphene citrate, it has been deemed to be of great help to both men and women. Its elements have the ability to help women suffering from ovulatory problems, to improve their overall ovulatory function. This, thus, is of great help for increasing the pregnancy rate. While for men, it tends to be effective for the increase in fertility rates. This type of medical solution has given hope to those who cannot conceive.