Clomid is an oral medication that can be used to stimulate ovulation. It works by blocking estrogen receptors at the hypothalamus, which is an important “hormonal control center” for the body. When this happens, the hypothalamus is stimulated to release follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH). These are the naturally occurring ovarian stimulants, which prompt ovulation in a normal cycle.
Clomid side effects are mild for most people. The most common ones include hot flashes, headaches, bloating, mood swings, and breast tenderness. However, as with any drug, you should be aware of the potential risks before treatment.
Many Clomid side effects are the result of how the drug works. Clomiphene tricks the body into thinking there’s not enough estrogen. It does this by blocking estrogen receptors. This leads the body to release more GnRH, a hormone that tells the pituitary to release more FSH and LH. These hormones stimulate the ovaries and boost ovulation.
Because most of the estrogen receptors are blocked, this leads to some of clomiphene’s side effects like headaches and vaginal dryness. Most of the other side effects are caused by the ovaries becoming slightly enlarged.
Hot flashes are a common side effect of clomiphene. About 1 in 10 women experienced them.When you’re having a hot flash, you may:
suddenly feel extremely warm
experience face flush
break out in a sweat
have a more rapid heartbeat
After a hot flash, you might feel chilled, especially if you broke out in a sweat. Hot flashes are also known as night sweats if they happen while you’re sleeping.
A hot flash can be a bit unnerving the first time it happens. That said, it’s not a dangerous event just an uncomfortable one.
BLOATING AND ABDOMINAL DISCOMFORT
Another very common clomiphene side effect is bloating and abdominal discomfort.
One possible explanation is the weight gain is a temporary outcome of bloating. Bloating is common during Clomid treatment, as is retaining water weight.
Mood swings are another side effect of clomiphene.
However, almost half of all women experience mood disturbances on Clomid.
Mood swings may mean feeling more emotionally sensitive, tearful, or even depressed or anxious. Infertility itself can bring on these feelings without drugs.
NAUSEA AND DIZZINESS
Women experience nausea and vomiting while taking clomiphene.
Severe nausea can also be a sign of ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome, a rare but potentially dangerous side effect of fertility drugs.
Breast tenderness is another potential side effect of clomiphene.
This is another side effect that can have women wondering if they’re experiencing early pregnancy symptoms, but usually it’s just a drug side effect.
ABNORMAL MENSTRUAL BLEEDING
This can drive some women crazy. They see spotting and think, “Oh, it’s implantation spotting.
The spotting might be accompanied by other symptoms like…
- abdominal pain
- nausea and vomiting
- or, something just doesn’t feel right
VAGINAL DRYNESS OR THICK CERVICAL MUCUS
This is a frustrating potential side effect of clomiphene, as thick or absent cervical fluid can interfere with achieving pregnancy.
Cervical mucus is needed to help transport the sperm into the cervix. If clomiphene causes thick cervical mucus, this can decrease the chances of getting pregnant.
A frightening, side effect of clomiphene is blurred vision.
Vision disturbances may include…
- blurred vision
- seeing flashing lights
- seeing floaters
RISKS OF CLOMID
While side effects are usually physical or emotional discomforts experienced while taking a drug, a drug’s risks are what may occur beyond what you feel. With that said, here are the possible risks to clomid:
Twin or multiple pregnancy: The risk of getting pregnant with twins or more may be the most well-known risks of clomiphene. During clinical trials, 6.9 percent of pregnancies were twin pregnancies, 0.5 percent were triplets, 0.3 percent were quadruplets, and 0.1 percent were quintuplets.
Ovarian Hyper stimulation Syndrome (OHSS): Usually mild with clomiphene treatment, but in rare cases, the severe form can occur. Without treatment, severe OHSS can be life threatening.
Ovarian cysts: Women will develop an ovarian cyst during treatment.
Ovarian cancer: Increased risk of ovarian cancer if clomiphene is taken for a year or longer.
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