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What Couples Should Know About Infertility And Clomid Treatments

Jun 3, 2008
Many couples want to have children but have difficulties along the way. Infertility is professionally defined as the inability to conceive after a year of unprotected intercourse. This can be caused by a number of factors, including problems in ovulation. Fortunately there are many treatments available, clomid being one of the first.

Getting Help

One can go to obstetricians/gynecologists or to infertility doctors. Infertility doctors specialize in this area and often have staffs that are both experts and are very understanding and sympathetic. In addition to the technical procedures accompanying clomid fertility treatment, understanding and sympathy are also very important for two reasons. First, having children is central to a woman's self image. Women have an underlying need to bring children into the world. Unfortunately, modernity deemphasizes the importance of a woman's maternal nature. When women can't have children they feel like they are missing something that is intrinsic to their being. Many times until they encounter problems having children they don't realize how important this is to them. Therefore, all of the long procedures, with the ups and down, and the hopes and disappointments, can be very emotionally painful and upsetting for them. An understanding staff and husband can help tremendously to support women emotionally. The second benefit of understanding is that when a woman is more emotionally positive, she has less stress. Stress itself can add additional strain on the reproductive system, inhibiting fertility.

How Clomid Works

Clomid is usually appropriate when women have irregular menstrual cycles or they do not ovulate properly. Clomiphene, the actual chemical compound, is thought to work by fooling the brain into believing that the ovary does not produce eggs. The brain responds by greatly increasing the appropriate hormones to stimulate egg production and development. Tests should be conducted to pinpoint the reason for infertility and an infertility profile will show if she is a good candidate for this therapy.

A more technical explanation of the process would be as follows. Clomiphene inhibits the action of estrogen on the gonadotrope cells. Since the estrogen receptors are prevented from working, the body mistakenly perceives estrogen levels to be lower than they are. Therefore, the body releases more gonadotropin releasing hormone. This raises the output of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), leading to a higher rate of ovulation. Increased ovulation leads to a higher rate of pregnancy.

Clomid usually works within 3 menstrual cycles and if there is no pregnancy by seven cycles, one should try another method. More than half of the pregnancies occur during the first three months. Forth to eighty percent of women who use this method ovulate successfully. Also forty to sixty percent of those women will have conceived within six months of usage. In addition, approximately 10 percent of successful pregnancies result in twins.

A Low-Risk Treatment

This is a relative low-risk method, if used in the appropriate situation and under adequate guidance. Side effects include hot flashes, headaches, mood changes, vaginal dryness, and visual disturbances.

Repeated use month after month, without checking the ovaries every month, can lead to enlarged ovaries. This can result in severe pain or pressure on the ovaries blood vessels, sometimes resulting in losing an ovary. Fortunately, this problem can be prevented by an ultrasound or a simple pelvic examination at the beginning of each menstrual cycle. Unfortunately, many doctors do not perform these basic tests. If your doctor does not perform this test, you should consider looking for anther doctor.

Summary

Women who have been unable to conceive for more than a year should seek medical advice. It will be easier on them, both emotionally and physically, if they have a very professional and supportive staff, husband, and support network. Many women also find that prayer helps. Clomid works by increasing hormone output which greatly increasing ovulation. This results in a much higher percentage of pregnancies. It is a low risk treatment and if it does not work there are other treatments available. Good luck!
About the Author
Simon P. writes about many subjects that are helpful to others. More information on Clomid
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