FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Scroll through this list of questions, or use the Site Search (top right) to find the answers you need!

Q: Are there any side effects from Clomid?

Clomid can interfere with the ability of the cervical mucus glands to be stimulated by estrogen to produce fertile mucus. Only "hostile" or dry cervical mucus may develop in the days preceding ovulation. Guaifenesin Syrup is an "expectorant" (or medicine that promotes the secretion of saliva and mucus by the air passages, used esp. to treat coughs) (Robitussin). An expectorant may help to improve the cervical mucus by making it "sperm friendly"

The most common side effects are hot flashes and headache.  These are due to the body's drastic hormone level fluctuations. The headache usually disappears once the last pill is taken, and the hot flashes once ovulation has occurred.

Visual symptoms such as spots, flashes or blurry vision are less common and indicate that treatment should stop.  Call the doctor who prescribed the clomid if you experience side effects.

Q: Can I conceive if I don't have cervical mucus?

Absolutely! The sperm just has to make its way to the egg without getting taken down by the acidic environment of the vagina.

Q: Can I use artificial lubricants?

The use of artificial lubricants should be avoided while trying to conceive. They maybe harmful to sperm.  Some women suggest using raw egg-white as a lubricant, although it may pose a risk for infection if it is contaminated.  Drinking plenty of water and taking Robitussin and/or EPO may help you produce more cervical mucus.

Q: Hot Flashes

Well my first month on Clomid 50mg I took it cd 3-7. I didn't have any side effects while taking it which worried me a little, made me think it wasn't working. Well let me tell you it was working, as soon as I finished the last pill I started getting hot flashes. That was my only side effect. Well I didn't O that cycle.

So the next cycle the Dr. upped me to 100mg still cd 3-7 and again as soon as I finished the last pill on came the hot flashes, but for me they were twice as bad as the first month. Guess because the dose doubled so did the hot flashes... lol.. I got them so bad one day my mom said "look your whole neck is turning red and it's moving up to your face" I said "trust me I know, it's a hot flash" I about froze DH out of the house and this is during the winter mind you..

Well luckily I ovulated on this dose. Don't know yet if I got pg yet or not, But you know what, even if I didn't and have to do another round of 100mg or even higher I can handle the hot flashes .....

It will be all worth it for a baby... 
Lisa (MrsLW) 

Q: How do I chart my basal body temperature?

Your Basal Body Temperature (BBT) is taken first thing in the morning before getting out of bed, after a minimum of three consecutive hours of sleep. Your temperature should be taken at about the same time every morning, preferably within an hour or so.  It is usually taken orally, but can be taken vaginally. By charting your BBTs you can determine if you've ovulated and how long your luteal phase is.  Temperature ranges very tremendously but are typically between 96.5 - 97.5 before ovulation and 97.5 - 98.6 after ovulation. The high levels of estrogen causes the temperatures to be low before ovulation. Following ovulation, progesterone levels rise causing temperatures to rise as well.

Q: How do I determine my coverline?

Following the thermal shift, look at the preceding six temperatures. Take the highest of these six temperatures and add one-tenth to it. This is your coverline.

Q: How long will it take for me to get pregnant using Clomid?

More than half the women taking Clomid will get pregnant during the first three cycles and more than 3/4 occur at the 50mg. dose. Most doctors will only prescribe Clomid for six (6) cycles. After that time, other measures may be recommended, such as IUI or IVF.

Q: How much should I take?

The initial recommended dosage is 50 mg but it may be increased to 100 mg (or more) until the desired response is achieved. It is important to chart while taking clomid and some doctors will recommend using Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs) as well.

Q: If everything spills out after intercourse, is conception possible?

This is the most frequently asked question so here's the scoop: If you stay prone (lying down) for 20 minutes after intercourse, the only thing that "spills out" is seminal fluid and abnormal sperm. Normal sperm is ejaculated into the vagina and immediately travels into the cervix (safe haven from the acidic environment of the vagina). Seminal fluid is the medium that carries the sperm out of the body. Abnormal/malformed sperm are not able to advance through the net-like mucus (ferning) which we know as Egg White Cervical Mucus EWCM). 

Q: If I'm not pregnant, when will my temperatures drop?

If you are not pregnant, 10 days after ovulation your temperature will begin to drop as your body realizes you are not pregnant. 

Your "coverline" is the highest temp before ovulation. 

As long as you don't drop below your coverline after ovulation, it is a good indication you are pregnant. 

More on BBT...

Cycle Day 11 ovulation occurred

Cycle Day 7 Ovulation is triggered after estrogen surge (Estrogen lowers temperature)

If conception and implantation did not occur in a cycle, the Basal Body Temperature will drop near or below coverline the day before or the day of the start of menstruation. This is due to the degradation of the corpus luteum and the subsequent drop in progesterone levels.

Q: Is Clomid associated with any congenital birth defects?

The % of congenital birth defects in children conceived with the assistance of Clomid is no different than the % of congenital malformations in the general population.

Q: Is it necessary to take Basal Body Temperatures during menstruation?

No, it is not necessary to take BBTs during menstruation. Most women will do them to stay in the habit of charting. Temperatures can be erratic during menstruation due to residual progesterone levels.

Q: Long Term Side Effects

WARNING: Side effects MAY be LONG TERM, not temporary! I just finished my 5th month of Clomid, First 3 months at 100 mg and the last 2 months at 150 mg. Right away I experienced night sweats/hot flashes, headaches, and strange painful lower abdominal pain during my cycle only (the pain so intense that I could not stand up straight and felt bruised for days afterward). The last 2 months on the 150 mg dose it started to affect my eyes....when in a dark room for lengthy periods I get shimmering in my peripheral vision and strange glowing lines when I move my head. I also get light flashes throughout the day, not only at night. I have confirmed that it is Clomid related and was told that the symptoms would stop after I stopped the 5 day doses each month and may reactivate when I take them again the next month. WARNING: there is a possibility that the eye problems can last several YEARS. I have been taken off Clomid because of my experiences (and lack of success at such a high dose) but I am still experiencing the abdominal pain during my cycle and still have the eye problems (I even stopped driving at night). It has been 2 months since my last dose. We all take this drug because we want children, just make a conscious choice and know the risks! Melanie of Manitoba, Canada

Q: What about multiple births as a result from Clomid?

Clomid is a low-level fertility drug. The chances of a multiple birth (twins) increases 40 times while taking Clomid.

Q: What about ovarian cysts? I've heard Clomid can cause them.

Yes, you can get an ovarian cyst while using Clomid. An ovarian cyst will dissipate on its own, though. It is, however, necessary for your ovaries to be checked for cysts before any additional dosages of Clomid are administered. Clomid could cause an enlargement in an ovarian cyst.

Q: What does 18 days of high Basal Body Temperatures mean?

If your temperature has remained above your coverline for 18 or more days, you are most likely pregnant.  Rarely, a corpus luteum cyst will cause elevated temperatures in a cycle where conception did not occur.  It is important to make sure you knew exactly when ovulation and the thermal shift occurred so the count will be accurate. Not all women ovulate on Day 14!

Q: What does Clomid do?

Clomid works by suppressing the amount of naturally circulating estrogen and "tricks" the pituitary into producing more follicular stimulating hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing hormone (LH). These natural gonadotropic hormones (FSH and LH) then stimulate the ovaries to ripen a follicle and to extrude an ovum (egg).

Q: What is a fallback temperature?

Some women may see a drop in temperature the day or two after the thermal shift.  It is likely due to a surge of estrogen. This is normal and does not affect fertility. It should rise again the next day.

Q: What is a slow-riser?

In some women, the thermal shift may be gradual over several days. They a called slow-risers, which means that it took a little longer for progesterone levels to rise high enough for temperatures to become elevated.  This is a normal finding and does not affect fertility.

Q: What is a thermal shift and what does it mean?

The thermal shift will occur the day after ovulation due to an increase in progesterone levels. The temperature will rise 0.2-0.5 degrees. The presence of the thermal shift is a good indicator that ovulation has already occurred.

Q:What is a triphasic Basal Body Temperature(BBT) pattern?

A triphasic pattern is when a second thermal shift is seen around the time of implantation of the embryo. The second thermal shift is due to increased progesterone levels from the presence of the embryo.

Q: What is better - a glass or digital thermometer?

Either thermometer is acceptable to use as long as it is a basal thermometer and not a fever thermometer. Digital thermometers measure to the one-tenth degree whereas most fever thermometers measure in two-tenth degree increments. Glass thermometers must be kept in for 5 minutes, digital thermometers will give a reading in one minute.  If you are getting erratic temperatures with digital you may want to compare them to a glass thermometer, since the glass thermometer can be more reliable.

Q: What is Clomid?

Clomid is a fertility drug. Its chemical name is Clomiphene Citrate, and Clomid is sometimes also referred to as Serophene. These are all the same drug. It is used to treat women who have an ovulation problem by stimulating the ovaries to mature an egg.

Q: What positions are best for Trying To Conceive?

The missionary position with man on top is reported to be the best at depositing the sperm close to the cervix. Other positions include doggy style with the man entering from behind. Woman on top is the worst position due to the effects of gravity.

Q: What should happen at a preconception doctor's visit?

A preconception visit to your doctor should include a medical history, complete physical examination, including Pap smear, blood tests to check for immunity to Rubella, Toxoplasmosis, or other diseases that may affect pregnancy, and advice on what type of vitamins to take.  The doctor can also discuss their philosophy on trying to conceive and what you can do to improve your chances.

Q:What should I do after having sex?

Some women suggest staying in bed with a pillow under their hips or legs raised in the bicycle position for at least 20 minutes after sex.  Others say it makes no difference if you get up right away. The choice is yours!

Q: When do I take Clomid?

Your physician will instruct you to take Clomid on either days 3-7 or 5-9 of your cycle, and it is usually based upon the Dr's preference and/or experience. Please follow your physician's directions carefully.

Q: When is Day 1 of my cycle?

Day 1 of your cycle is the first day of red menstrual flow, not any spotting that may precede menstruation.

Q: When should I DTD (have intercourse)?

You should DTD at least every other day, beginning the third day after your last pill is taken and continuing for one week, or until a thermal shift indicates you've ovulated.

Q: When will I ovulate?

It may take time to establish an appropriate and effective dosage for each person. Once that is established, you should expect to ovulate 5-8 days after the last pill is taken. If you do not conceive in that cycle, AF will usually arrive three weeks after the last pill.

Q: Why are Kegel Exercises important?

Besides increasing vaginal muscle tone, Kegels can be performed several hours after sex to expel any residual sperm in the vagina, which may make CM analysis confusing.  Kegels are done by contracting and releasing the vaginal muscles (as you would if you had to stop urinating).

Q:Why is my coverline important?

Once the coverline is determined, you will be able to differentiate between pre-ovulatory and post-ovulatory temperatures. While it is not critical to determine your coverline for pregnancy achievement, it will allow you to see more easily when you ovulated.