Define Clomiphene

Learn about clomiphene, a medication used to treat infertility in women by stimulating ovulation. Discover how it works, who can benefit, success rates, and potential side effects.

What is Clomiphene?

Clomiphene, also known by its brand name Clomid, is a medication commonly used to treat infertility in women. It works by stimulating the release of hormones needed for ovulation. Clomiphene is typically taken orally in the form of a pill and is often the first treatment option for women struggling to conceive.

How Does Clomiphene Work?

Clomiphene works by binding to estrogen receptors in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that regulates hormone production. By blocking these receptors, clomiphene tricks the body into thinking that estrogen levels are lower than they actually are. This prompts the release of hormones needed for ovulation, such as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).

Who Can Benefit from Clomiphene?

Clomiphene is often prescribed to women who have irregular periods or anovulation (lack of ovulation). It is commonly used in cases of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that can cause infertility due to hormonal imbalances. Clomiphene can help regulate ovulation and improve the chances of getting pregnant.

Success Rates of Clomiphene

Studies have shown that about 80% of women who take clomiphene will ovulate, and 30-40% will become pregnant within six cycles of treatment. However, success rates can vary depending on the underlying cause of infertility and other factors such as age and lifestyle habits.

Side Effects of Clomiphene

While clomiphene is generally well-tolerated, some women may experience side effects such as hot flashes, headaches, mood swings, and ovarian enlargement. Rarely, more serious side effects like vision changes and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) can occur. It is important to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider.


Clomiphene is a widely used medication for treating infertility in women. By stimulating ovulation, it can help women with ovulatory disorders like PCOS increase their chances of getting pregnant. While clomiphene is generally safe and effective, it is important to work closely with a healthcare provider to monitor for any potential side effects and adjust treatment as needed.

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