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Clomiphene: treatment if you want to have children
- If you want to have children, clomiphene helps to improve fertility.
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In women, hormonal disorders manifest themselves, for example, in menstrual disorders, i.e. irregularities in the cycle. In addition, ovulation can be partially or completely absent in affected women, for example in polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCO). The estrogen antagonist clomiphene can help women who want to have children: The active ingredient stimulates egg maturation and ovulation, thus increasing the likelihood of pregnancy.
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How does clomiphene work?
Clomiphene stimulates the pituitary gland in the brain so that it increasingly produces certain messenger substances. These messenger substances are FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone). FSH is involved in egg maturation, LH is involved in ovulation.
In most cases, doctors use clomiphene as part of what is known as ovarian stimulation therapy. This treatment encompasses all methods in which hormones are administered to mature eggs and stimulate ovulation.
Clomiphene is easy to use
The great advantage of drugs that contain clomiphene is that they are easy to use: women who want to have children take the active ingredient in tablet form. This is what sets Clomiphene apart from other hormonal treatments that require injections. In addition, the use of clomiphene is quite straightforward. Women only need to take one tablet on five consecutive days. The treatment begins between the second and fifth day of the cycle.
If the therapy with clomiphene is successful, ovulation begins about a week after taking the last tablet, i.e. between the tenth and twelfth day of the cycle. If ovulation has not occurred after 20 days, wait for the next menstrual period. In the following cycle, treated women start taking clomiphene again. Overall, treatment with clomiphene should not last longer than three months or be carried out for no more than five to six treatment cycles if you want to have children.
Ultrasound shows whether clomiphene is working
The doctor will determine the individual dose of clomiphene before starting treatment. As a rule, the initial dose is 50 milligrams per day, which can be increased to 100 milligrams up to a maximum of 150 milligrams per day in consultation with your doctor. During the treatment, the gynecologist monitors the maturation of the follicles, the precursors of egg cells.
To do this, he does an ultrasound scan on the first and last day of taking clomiphene. Depending on the result, the doctor then adjusts the amount of the active ingredient if necessary. Once the egg cells have matured, the doctor uses ultrasound to check whether ovulation is taking place on the twelfth day of the cycle.
The body reacts differently to clomiphene from woman to woman. In addition, the effect can vary in each cycle. For this reason, the doctor carries out the ultrasound examinations at every intake interval. In addition, he takes blood from the treated woman in order to be able to determine the exact hormone concentration.
Pregnant after treatment with clomiphene: prevention is important
If the clomiphene therapy is successful and pregnancy occurs, the doctor will terminate the treatment. Most pregnancies proceed normally afterwards. So clomiphene does not increase the risk of disease during pregnancy. The children are also generally healthy after they are born. However, the drug-based fertility treatment increases the risk of miscarriages. For this reason, it is advisable to fully attend the preventive examinations at the gynecologist during pregnancy.
In some cases, however, a successful clomiphene therapy can lead to a surprise: Instead of a child, twins or triplets suddenly grow in the womb. Since Clomiphene stimulates the maturation of the follicles very strongly, it is possible that not just one but several fertilizable egg cells grow during a cycle. This increases the likelihood of multiple pregnancies.
Conversely, clomiphene can also reduce the chance of pregnancy. In rare cases, for example, the active ingredient changes the lining of the cervix. The sperm then no longer reach the egg cell to fertilize it. Clomiphene also occasionally irritates the lining of the uterus so that the fertilized egg cannot implant.
Side effects of clomiphene
The following side effects may occur while taking clomiphene:
These symptoms usually go away as soon as clomiphene is stopped. Again and again fears were voiced in public that clomiphene increased the risk of cancer. According to the current state of research, however, this concern is unfounded.
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