In order for a woman to get pregnant, she needs to ovulate, or release an egg that can then be fertilized by sperm. And in order for pregnancy to happen, intercourse needs to be timed just right with ovulation. There are some medical conditions out there that affect a woman's ability to ovulate. For example, one of those is polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS. If you haven't been having irregular cycles, or you're not ovulating, and you know that because you've been testing, then you should talk with your doctor, and they'll be able to recommend a plan - something that will help to stimulate ovulation and hopefully increase your chances of conceiving.
One of the treatment methods used commonly for women who aren't ovulating is Clomid. It's a medication that stimulates your body to release an egg. To increase your chances of conceiving, you need to start having intercourse every other day, 5 days after your last dose of Clomid is taken, and continue with this for a week. And if you do this, then hopefully things will be timed just right. In conjunction with Clomid therapy, your doctor will probably recommend checking for a luteinizing hormone surge, or LH surge, and that's associated with ovulation. You can detect this by using ovulation kits. And as soon as you're seeing a positive, that gives you about a 1 to 2 day window. So if you weren't already going to have intercourse during this time, then you need to plan on it.
There are some potential side effects associated with Clomid use, and one is the risk of multiple gestation. For some people, that's not a risk, and that would be welcome, especially if they've been trying to have babies for a while. But you should know, when you take this, there's a slightly higher chance that you could end up with twins, or maybe even triplets. The chance of twins is about 7% to 8%, and that's higher than the normal population that isn't taking Clomid.
Other side effects include headache, nausea, vomiting, breast tenderness, abdominal pain, bloating, mood swings. And many of these things are actually associated with pregnancy too, so it makes women feel extra hopeful, when they've been taking Clomid, that they're pregnant, but these symptoms, if they're associated with pregnancy won't happen until about 5 to 6 weeks gestation, or about 5 to 6 weeks from your last period. So you can expect to feel things if you've been taking Clomid. Hot flashes are also common. But if you experience anything that seems abnormal to you, call your doctor, and they'll decide if it's a side effect of the medication, or if further investigation is necessary.
Now as for how many doses you might take, a lot of women do successfully get pregnant and conceive when they take Clomid, but sometimes it's not effective. And sometimes it takes multiple rounds, even when it does work. So it may not work the first month, or even the second, or even the third. Your doctor may recommend trying for a few months to see if it helps, but after about 6 months, studies have shown that pregnancy rates actually fall significantly for women who have been using Clomid for that amount of time. And at that point, a doctor should look into other reasons for infertility. Maybe in addition to not ovulating, there's fallopian tube blockage. There's so many different factors that go into a woman and a man being able to conceive, so they might want to investigate other possibilities, other underlying conditions that need to be addressed. If you have any other questions for me in the future, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IntermountainMoms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.