Chlomid is often prescribed by some GPs and gynaecologists to induce ovulation in a woman trying to conceive.
Simply put, it acts as an oestrogen-blocker, and is taken for a few days at the start of the cycle. Often a woman’s response is a ‘super-strong’ ovulation, due to a cascade of hormones reacting to compensate for the low oestrogen. Chlomid is usually prescribed for up to 4 cycles if needed, then other plans are discussed if pregnancy has not occurred (like assisted techniques including IVF or IUI, where sperm is injected straight through the cervix). This article outlines the positives & negatives of taking Chlomid, and what you can do to support this process from a Naturopathic perspective.
Negatives of taking Chlomid:
- Side effects can include: Hot flushes, headaches, bloating, abdominal discomfort, nausea, dizziness, weight gain, mood swings, and breast tenderness.
- Vaginal dryness (not good if you want to conceive and support the sperm’s journey towards the egg)
- Endometrial lining thinning (not good as you need a ‘juicy’ nice thick uterine lining for an embryo to implant into)
- Increased chance of multiple pregnancies like twins (which mightn’t be a bad thing)
- Rarely Ovarian Hyper-stimulation Syndrome (indicated by severe nausea – this requires urgent medical attention)
Changes in cycles can be another side-effect – longer, shorter, heavier etc.Positives of taking Chlomid:
- It increases your chances of ovulation if you aren’t already. This is great in conditions like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) where ovulation isn’t occurring.
What you can do to support your chances of conceiving with Chlomid (or not):
- A thorough preconception workup to ensure your eggs and partner’s sperm are as healthy as possible. Ideally 4 months prior to conception attempts. See our other blog to explain at: https://alldegreesofhealth.com.au/service/natural-fertility/ for more information
- If you take Chlomid, also take a herb called Black Cohosh that has been clinically trialed to increase conception rates. It helps counteracts the two big hurdles Chlomid causes – a thinner uterine lining and less fertile vaginal mucus. In one 2009 study (1) pregnancy rates increased from 14% in women given oestrogen supportive medication vs Black Cohosh 21.1%. In a 2008 study (2) using Black Cohosh increased pregnancy rates from 13.6% to 36.7%. This herb needs to be prescribed by a registered Naturopath or Herbalist familiar with the correct product and dosage.
- Use a Natural Vaginal lubricant to improve the sperms journey e.g “Pre-Seed Fertility-Friendly Lubricant”, made specifically for this job (from your local Chemist or online).
- Eating a healthy diet, keeping your weight within a healthy range, ensuring you have had a thorough assessment of your nutrient requirements and managing stress. Doreen describes lots of helpful hints in the podcast: http://www.holisticfertilitypodcast.com/recurrent-miscarriage-causes-solutions-doreen-schwegler/
- Our Fertility Specialist Naturopath offers an ‘Natural Ovulation Induction” treatment if you aren’t ovulating using high strength Bulgarian Tribulus
- Join our closed Facebook Support group “Creating Healthy Babies Melbourne” for useful tips, talks and articles (you don’t have to live in Melbourne to join, but you must answer the 3 questions before admin will admit you into the group).
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19909590 Compared using Black Cohosh with a type of oestroegn to improve conception rates in women given Chlomid
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18413068 Using Black Cohosh to improve conception rates from 13.6% using Chlomid alone to 36.7% when used with Black Cohosh.