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tell me about clomid 
30th-Nov-2012 02:59 am [infertility, ttc]
This is more about TTC than pregnancy, so please delete if it's too off topic. But if not, please tell me your experiences with clomid, specifically if you used it not because you weren't ovulating, but so you could ovulate more than one egg at a time. Success? Regrets? Twins? Feedback?

I'm going to be 36 in less than a month. I have a 2.5 year old son, and in Feb of this year, we started trying for another. I got preg in May, miscarried in July, preg again in Sept, miscarried in Oct. I had all the tests done (19 vials of blood!), but my OB could find nothing wrong with my hormones, thyroid, blood clotting, chromosomes etc. to point to a reason for the miscarriages. I talked to a reproductive endocrinologist who suggested that I might want to take clomid to ovulate 2 eggs at a time, to speed up the chance of getting pregnant again (given that at my age, my fertility is waning).

Part of me is totally onboard because I want to be pregnant ASAP and my bio clock is ticking like a Big Ben of DOOM. And part of me thinks I could skip it and keep patiently doing what I'm doing (but I'm not very patient).
Thanks
Comments 
30th-Nov-2012 11:56 am (UTC)
I have a few friends who used it-- not all out of necessity, some were just doing IUIs because they had female partners and the doctors basically put everyone on clomid LOL-- and yes, twins are common.
30th-Nov-2012 12:35 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure about clomid, but just a thought on the miscarriages - has your OB checked for things like a short luteal phase? I was pregnant a number of times, and losing the baby anywhere between 5 and 11 weeks due to a short luteal phase - a quick google will explain what it's about and you can see if you think it applies to you... and it was easily enough 'fixed' by using progesterone suppositories for three months (which wasn't pleasant, but eh, here I am at 8mths pregnant)...
30th-Nov-2012 05:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah, we checked that too - my progesterone is apparently normal. (Congrats on your pregnancy. :)
30th-Nov-2012 08:29 pm (UTC)
You're tracking your fertility signs, preferably with the method laid out in TCOYF (Taking Charge of Your Fertility), so you're positive your luteal phase is long enough? If you're not tracking, it will help with your TTC plans regardless of whether the luteal phase is the issue.

Good luck!
3rd-Dec-2012 06:57 pm (UTC)
I don't chart, but I do OPKs, and I'd say 99% of the time, I ovulate (according to the tests) on day 14, and my period starts 15 days later. So I don't think it's my luteal phase.
1st-Dec-2012 05:48 am (UTC)
My progesterone is normal - it's just that I ovulate very late in a short cycle (although very late in any length cycle is the issue) so there isn't enough time for the egg to implant and develop before the standard/normal drop in progesterone causes a period, thus shedding the fertilised embryo. On some occasions the period holds off and I wind up with a confirmed pregnancy but there is insufficient hormones to allow the placenta to develop properly (the placenta doesn't produce enough hormones to sustain the pregnancy until around 12 weeks) and the pregnancies fail slowly.

Thanks for the congrats :) I'm hoping yours is something simple and easy to fix and you are on the way quickly.
30th-Nov-2012 12:46 pm (UTC)
I had Clomid for my successful cycle due to hormone issues, I also had a trigger shot for ovulation as well. I don't know if it was because of the combination of both, or one or the other, but it was successful for me. No twins, just a singleton, but my fertility specialist did warn me that twins could happen. (And because someone else mentioned it, I was also on progesterone.)

I'm sorry to hear about your miscarriages :/ I hope you find a solution to what's going on. Good luck!
3rd-Dec-2012 06:58 pm (UTC)
thanks!
30th-Nov-2012 03:12 pm (UTC)
I used it because I was doing AI due to lack of a male partner. I think I was on it for three cycles. As far as fertility meds go, it's pretty cheap and I was able to pay for it even though my insurance wouldn't. The main side effect I had with it was hot flashes, but some people get mood swings. It didn't work for me, so I moved on to IVF (I also had no discernible fertility problems). You do have an increased risk of twins with Clomid.

Edited at 2012-11-30 03:15 pm (UTC)
30th-Nov-2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
I didn't go on clomid, but my doctor told me it was something we would do if I couldn't conceive after 6 months. I am 38, and 10.5 weeks pregnant.

She told me one of the things about clomid is that it can thicken cervical mucus, and because I have had some issues in the past with dryness I should be aware that I might need a lubricant like preseed if I went on it.

I then went on google to look that up, and found that there were women who took mucinex while on clomid to help with the cervical mucus problem. Never asked my doctor about it, because I got pregnant before 6 months was up, but it might be something to consider asking yours.
1st-Dec-2012 03:59 pm (UTC)
Clomid dried me out everywhere. I hated it for this reason. We were doing IUI so it didn't matter about the cervical mucus, but I had awful dry mouth and chapped lips.
30th-Nov-2012 05:41 pm (UTC)
I don't know anything about clomid, but did they check you for any kind of blood clotting issues? I've read about women who have had miscarriages in the past then taken low dose aspirin throughout their pregnancy which prevented the clotting issue from keeping oxygen / nutrients from the baby and sustained the pregnancy. Just to throw another idea out there.
30th-Nov-2012 05:52 pm (UTC)
Yup, they checked that too - no blood clotting issues. Literally thousands of dollars of blood tests (the bulk of which I'm praying my insurance covers), and there were no indications of anything causing the miscarriages.
30th-Nov-2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
i would consider a second RE's view. If you are on the correct dose of Clomid the chances of having twins are actually fairly low, which is a good thing as multi's come with increased risk.
Was the progesterone checked while pregnant or not? As one of the ways Clomid works is that helps boost progesterone levels in early pregnancy, thus helping to prevent loss in some women.
3rd-Dec-2012 07:02 pm (UTC)
My progesterone level was checked 7 days after I ovulated (but not pregnant), and I'd told it was normal.

I do think I may get a second opinion, though. Or just wait a few more cycles before doing anything.
1st-Dec-2012 01:19 am (UTC)
Sometimes miscarriages happen, even to the healthiest of women. You've had 2, which may well still just be unfortunate luck (I am very sorry for your losses, not trying to minimize that pain at all). Its not unusual. I don't see the point of clomid when you obviously don't have difficulty conceiving. The risk of multiples is not one to be taken lightly, they are high risk pregnancies and there's a lot that can and frequently does go wrong. I say this from experience.

I would also recommend charting to see what that tells you. And consulting with a Napro physician if you continue to have difficulties. You might also try taking progesterone anyhow, because a deficiency can be so slight as not to be medically indicated for treatment.
3rd-Dec-2012 07:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this comment. The logical side of my brain says the same thing. It's the illogical side that keeps screaming "You're old! You're never going to have another baby!" that I just need to ignore.

I don't chart, but use OPKs (and I have a super regular cycles - ovulation - according to the tests - on day 14, period 15 days later.)

I'm googling Napro now to learn more...
1st-Dec-2012 02:58 am (UTC)
From what you have said, I can see why you would want to go on Clomid.

On the other hand, I've read some really nasty things about Clomid and would never take it unless I absolutely had to. I have PCOS and it was always an option. Although I had been infertile for over two years, I still opted out and was pregnant literally 3 months later! Instead of going on the clomid, I analyzed my overall health and made changes that would help naturally boost my fertility :)
3rd-Dec-2012 07:06 pm (UTC)
What sort of changes did you make (if that's not too personal to share - it's okay if it is)? I'm wondering if there is anything else I can do (besides give up caffeine and alcohol, maintain healthy weight)?

Congrats on getting pregnant!
1st-Dec-2012 03:57 pm (UTC)
Have they checked your partners sperm? They are finding out more and more that the DNA integrity of the sperm can affect miscarriages. I would try putting your partner on high doses of antioxidants like pycnogenol and Vitamin E. Especially because it sounds like everything checks out okay with you.
3rd-Dec-2012 07:21 pm (UTC)
This is an excellent point. One thing that bugged me about the RE was that she just waved off the male side of the equation since "you haven't had trouble conceiving in the past". My husband is no spring chicken either.

Thanks for the advice on antioxidants and Vit E.
3rd-Dec-2012 11:30 am (UTC)
For what it's worth: I did fertility to conceive my twin sons - but I was on follistim injections which are a little more hard-core due to my PCOS and an IVF attempt that failed but proved I responded nicely to the injections.

Everyone I've known personally that has gone the clomid route has had a singleton. So, while the chance IS there (it definitely is), I've known more people use it and just have one baby than twins. Totally a not-scientific post, just experience :)
3rd-Dec-2012 03:45 pm (UTC)
I have PCOS and highly irregular cycles and we went the fertility route after trying for years. After a shot of progesterone to start a cycle, I was put on Clomid at first, and then switched to Femarra (off label use, because the RE said it worked better for women PCOS). They also found I had blocked Fallopian tubes, which they cleared in another procedure. After that, it took 2 cycles for us to conceive. They did ultrasounds, so I know I had only one egg each time. I had no problems with the Femarra (which you're only on for 5 days) or the shot of HCG, and had a healthy pregnancy and baby.

This time, we went back to a RE after trying for only a few months. This time I happened to walk in the door on day 4 of a natural cycle, started Femarra that day, and got pregnant within 10 (Yikes). I had 2 eggs mature, one on each side, but only one baby. Again, I didn't have any problems with the medication and am currently 14 weeks and doing fine.

I don't know if that helps any, but that's my experience...
3rd-Dec-2012 07:22 pm (UTC)
That's really cool that bam! 10 days later you were pregnant.
3rd-Dec-2012 08:19 pm (UTC)
It was a little ... sudden. Ha ha. We weren't really prepared, but hey, glad we're pregnant!

Since they count the 40 weeks from last your period, I was technically "pregnant" before I walked in the door. ;-)
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