How Clomid Works
Clomid, which is sold also under other brand names such as Serophene, as well as its generic name, Clomiphene, is a drug used to treat infertility in women with ovulatory problems. If you are struggling to get pregnant because your menstrual cycle is unpredictable, or your periods have stopped altogether, Clomid may be the treatment for you. However, Clomid is not a suitable treatment for all types of infertility problems, and you should only begin taking Clomid after consultation with your health care provider. Your doctor will carry out a range of tests on both you and your partner (the problem may indeed lie with him!) before deciding whether or not Clomid is the right treatment for you.
So What Exactly Does Clomid Do?
Clomid is administered in pill form. You take one pill every day for five consecutive days each month. The pills trigger the production of certain hormones in your body which stimulate your ovaries into producing and releasing mature eggs, which, hopefully, will be fertilized by your partners' sperm when you have sex. The advantage of Clomid, apart from bringing on ovulation in women who aren't ovulating at all, is that you can predict when the egg will be released from your ovaries, and therefore have a better chance of having sex at the right time. So - how exactly does Clomid bring about the production and release of eggs? Well, to understand that, it's helpful to know a little more about the natural ovulation process, when no medication is involved.
When you're menstruating normally, little follicles grow inside your ovaries. Each of these follicles contains an egg, which it nurtures. Over the course of the month, the follicles grow and mature as do the eggs they contain. The follicles also produce oestrogen. At the beginning of your cycle when the follicles are small, they don't produce much oestrogen and your oestrogen levels are low. These low oestrogen levels trigger the production of Gandatropin Releasing Hormone, or GnRH, which in turn stimulates your pituitary gland into producing Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). The FSH prompts the follicles to grow larger and as this happens, the level of oestrogen in your body increases. The higher oestrogen levels cause a release of Luteinising Hormone (LH), known as an LH surge. This surge triggers the release of a mature egg from the ovaries, down into the fallopian tubes and into the uterus. The egg is usually released between 12 and 24 hours following the LH surge. To get pregnant, you just need to make sure that healthy sperm meets the egg - which is, of course, sometimes easier said than done.
Ovulation With Clomid
Clomid attaches itself to parts of the brain called oestrogen receptors. These receptors are what enable your brain to tell accurately how much oestrogen is in your body and whether or not it needs to produce more or less. Clomid blocks these receptors and tricks your brain into thinking that your oestrogen levels are lower than they really are. The brain therefore sends a signal out to the body that it needs to produce more GnRH, which in turn stimulates the production of FSH. The FSH causes the follicles in the ovaries to grow larger and mature and helps them nurture the eggs they contain. The follicles also produce oestrogen and the increase in oestrogen triggers the LH surge, which tells the ovaries to release a mature egg. And there you have it - ovulation! Now what you have to do is make sure that egg gets fertilized!
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