What If Clomid Fails?

We've Come A Long Way In Our Understanding Of Infertility

In the past, it was commonly believed that all problems with conception had their source in the woman's body. There's something wrong with the woman, period. Today we know more and more about reproductive science and the concept that 'it is all the woman's fault' has given way to the understanding that both men and women are affected with infertility equally. Men may experience low sperm count, poor sperm motility or may suffer from a wide range of illnesses which affect sperm production. Some of the more common causes of infertility in women are diminished ovarian reserves, usually occurring in women over the age of 35, premature ovarian failure, damaged fallopian tubes (often a result of PID or endometriosis) and PCOS.

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Of Clomid

Should testing reveal that the difficulty in conceiving lies in the fact that the woman has ovulatory dysfunction while the balance of her reproductive cycle is normal, then often the first choice for treatment is the fertility drug, Clomid. Often times, sadly, Clomid is prescribed without the proper testing being done to see if the difficulty lies with the man. Used properly, Clomid is an effective treatment for stimulating follicle production and has had a good success rate. It is very important that women who are using Clomid be monitored carefully to determine the effectiveness of the drug and to watch for any contraindications or negative effects. Nearly one third of women, who are prescribed Clomid and are not monitored, experience their cervical mucus turning hostile to sperm and killing the sperm on contact. Of course, pregnancy is negated in such a situation.

It has been recommended by a good number of physicians and reproduction professionals that no more than three cycles of treatment with Clomid lapse before there is a re-evaluation of the medication and its effect upon the woman. If everything is progressing well, then another three cycles at a higher dosage-to the maximum level allowed by the manufacturer-may be prescribed. Some doctors prescribe more than the recommended dosage which commonly leads to thinning of the uterine lining. When this happens, even though the egg is released and fertilized, it has nowhere to embed and is lost.

What Happens When Clomid Isn't Enough

If, after the first three cycles are completed, there is no conception then the doctor may suggest adding intrauterine insemination (IUI) to the routine for the next three cycles. Another suggestion may be trying direct stimulation of the ovaries with an injectable such as Bravelle, Ovidrelle or Follistim. All of these drugs come with their own set of side effects and it is important that the doctor is monitoring the woman very closely during the process. All drugs, including Clomid, have the potential to cause birth defects after conception occurs.

Should this entire process prove to be futile and conception fails, then the next step may be in vitro fertilization. Of course, every couple is different and the protocols of treatment should be tailored to their specific needs.


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