Clomiphene citrate, also known as Clomid, is a fertility drug indicated for the treatment of ovulatory failure in carefully selected infertile women who wish to become pregnant. Clomid is commonly prescribed by fertility specialists, and many women are curious to know what types of side effects they may experience when taking Clomid. Fortunately, Clomid side effects are not experienced by all women.
However, a handful of women do experience some side effects from taking Clomid. Here are some of the most common side effects and how often they occur. You can find this information listed in the package insert provided by the company that makes the medication (Sanofi-Aventis):
- Ovarian enlargement (13.6%)
- Vasomotor flushing (Hot flushes) (10.4%)
- Abdominal-pelvic discomfort (distension, bloating, pain or soreness) (5.5%)
- Nausea and vomiting (2.2%)
- Breast discomfort (2.1%)
- Visual symptoms (1.5%)
- Headache (1.3%)
- Intermenstrual spotting or heavy periods (1.3%)
Clomid’s side effects are does-related. This means that side effects may occur more often when taken more frequently and in higher doses. Fortunately, Clomid side effects are temporary and go away once the medication is stopped.
Other than ovarian enlargement, hot flushes are the most commonly experienced side effect. These hot flushes are not usually severe and disappear soon after treatment is discontinued.
Rarely do women experience any visual changes. However, the visual symptoms that may occur (blurring of vision or spots or flashes) can be accentuated if you are exposed to a more brightly lit environment. These visual symptoms may occasionally occur during or shortly after clomiphene citrate therapy. Thankfully, the visual symptoms usually go away after discontinuation of the Clomid, however, cases of prolonged visual disturbances have been reported.
Although some patients have developed Ovarian Hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) with Clomid use, the occurrence of OHSS with Clomid usage is rare. Also, caution should be exercised when using clomiphene citrate in patients with uterine fibroids due to the potential for further enlargement of the fibroids.
Another Clomid side effect is that your chance of becoming pregnant with multiples (twins, triplets, or more) is increased. According to the package insert, the chance of having multiples is as follows:
- Twins = 6.9 percent
- Triplets = 0.5 percent
- Quadruplets = 0.3 percent
- Quintuplets = 0.13 percent
Also, there is an increased chance of ectopic pregnancy (tubal pregnancy) in women who conceive following clomiphene citrate therapy. You can find more details about Clomid side effects on the package insert that accompanies your prescription of Clomid.
Always discuss any concerns about fertility drug side effects with your doctor. If you are taking Clomid for infertility and experience side effects, alert your doctor immediately.
Source: Clomid package insert by Sanofi-Aventis
Dr. Lowell T. Ku, M.D. is an award winning and leading Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility specialist at Dallas IVF, one the nation’s premiere infertility centers. Dr. Ku clarifies the many confusing terms used in the world of Infertility using straightforward explanations.