To clomid or not to clomid? — The Bump
LGBT Parenting

To clomid or not to clomid?

Happy New Year, Friends!

While I am waiting for the winter classic to start on TV, I decided to start getting things in order for this upcoming cycle. Along with figuring out referrals (now that I am insured, woo!), I am also going back and forth on whether or not I will start Clomid this cycle. As you all know, I have been seeing an acupuncturist for quite some time and she has discovered that I am kidney yang deficient. She is not sure that Clomid will actually benefit me, and neither am I, but there is no way to know...

At this point, I'm not sure whether we should try another unmedicated cycle, or if we should go ahead and start Clomid and with it, a fully monitored cycle. I have PCOS, which is why my RE wanted me to try it in the first place, but there are months where it is pretty obvious that my body ovulated on its own. This month was a very long cycle (and still going), but, I did have the CM changes as well as the increase in temps to indicate ovulation (finally). 

 If you took clomid, what is your opinion on it? Would you do it again? 

Thank you!

TTC our first. Married to, and madly in love with, my beautiful wife. Living with our fur baby and enjoying 19 nieces and nephews. 
  • DW and I have been tracking, preparing, getting medical testing since January 2013.
  • First Cycle: Unmedicated ICI w/ Donor Sperm 08/02/13: BFN
  • Second Cycle: Unmedicated ICI w/ Donor Sperm 09/11/13, 09/13/13, 09/15/13: BFN
  • Third Cycle: Unmedicated ICI w/ Donor Sperm: 10/13/13, 10/15/13, 10/17/13, 10/21/13: BFN
  • January 2014: Sonohysterogram shows excellent lining & tubes have no blockages
  • Fourth Cycle:  Monitored clomid cycle  w/ ICI's at home: 1/24/14 and 1/25/14. Ovulation verified:  BFN
  • Fifth Cycle: 02/2014 Femara 5mg with ovidrel trigger CD14: BFN
  • Taking a few months off to evaluate if we want to keep trying


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Re: To clomid or not to clomid?

  • I never used Clomid, but I used the alternative Femara (also called Letrozole) due to slightly irregular cycles (occasionally would not ovulate).  My RE prefers Femara due to less side effects than Clomid. In fact, I didn't have any side effects from it.  While I did ovulate each time I used Femara, I was happy that I didn't produce more than one dominant follicle each cycle.  Personally, I did not want any increased chance of multiples.

    I was happy I used Femara, but since I never had an unmedicated cycle, I can't say if it really made a difference for me.  When we try for #2, I plan on using the same protocol.

    Since you have irregular cycles sometimes, you might want to give it shot (fully monitored, of course) since the financial and emotional investment of TTC is so high and it may increase your odds.

    Also, are you planning on moving to IUI?  I noticed you did several ICIs each cycle and I think I recall you are using donor sperm, which is quite pricey.  YOu may get more bang for you buck by using just one (or at max 2) vials per cycle with an IUI.

    Just my two cents.  So glad the insurance thing worked out and best wishes for your BFP this year!
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    GoaliesWife123
  • I would recommend Clomid. I think any time you can give your body a boost its a good thing.
    GoaliesWife123
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  • @atxmommas thank you! Femara was something that was discussed, but is the one medication my acupuncturist was really against. It was mentioned in my RE appointment, but we opted for Clomid first. I'm not too worried about the side effects, but I don't want to take anything that is given as a "routine" kind of thing, as opposed to something that will help ME. At this point, we are just so excited to not be benched anymore and really just ready for this cycle to be over so we can try again. If we decide to go forward with it, my cycle will be fully monitored with the first ultrasound on CD 13 after taking it. I'm also supposed to get the sonohysterogram completed this cycle. 

    IUI's are not covered by insurance, so we are sticking with the at-home ICI's for now. We are fortunate that my new insurance covers pretty much everything else for us, so the financial aspect of things is much less than had we continued without insurance. 

    Thanks for the encouragement, both of you!


    TTC our first. Married to, and madly in love with, my beautiful wife. Living with our fur baby and enjoying 19 nieces and nephews. 
    • DW and I have been tracking, preparing, getting medical testing since January 2013.
    • First Cycle: Unmedicated ICI w/ Donor Sperm 08/02/13: BFN
    • Second Cycle: Unmedicated ICI w/ Donor Sperm 09/11/13, 09/13/13, 09/15/13: BFN
    • Third Cycle: Unmedicated ICI w/ Donor Sperm: 10/13/13, 10/15/13, 10/17/13, 10/21/13: BFN
    • January 2014: Sonohysterogram shows excellent lining & tubes have no blockages
    • Fourth Cycle:  Monitored clomid cycle  w/ ICI's at home: 1/24/14 and 1/25/14. Ovulation verified:  BFN
    • Fifth Cycle: 02/2014 Femara 5mg with ovidrel trigger CD14: BFN
    • Taking a few months off to evaluate if we want to keep trying


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    ATXmommas
  • I was on Clomid and I think the only side effect I had was increased appetite.  That could have been in my head though :-)  I would say to use it and be monitored, especially since your cycles are not consistent.  I also liked doing the HCG trigger shot because we were able to get the timing down better.  There is a chance of multiples, but it wasn't high enough for us to worry.  I say that now, we could go to our ultra sound next week and find out we are having twins or triplets, lol.  But the RE will let you know how many follies are mature before doing the insemination.  

    Good luck and I hope this next cycle is the lucky one!
    T & G My wife and I married 9/10/11 in Niagara Falls, NY
    HSG 12/12/12        
    #1 ICI 12/15/12              BFN on 12/29/12
    #2 ICI  1/11/13                BFN 1/28/13                       
    #3 ICI 2/11/13                 BFN
                   
    #4 ICI August 2013,  Clomid 100mg    BFN on 8/30/13 
    #5 ICI September-Clomid 100,  mg ICI 8/15 and 8/16,  BFN on 9/3
    #6 ICI October-Clomid 150 mg for 5 days   BFN 10/27
    uterine laparoscopy on 11/14-no endo or cysts
    #7 IUI December-Clomid 150mg    BFP 12/21
    12/23 Beta 51     12/26 Beta 209!
    First ultrasound on January 8th 2014-great healthy heartbeat
    Second Ultrasound January 23 (8 weeks) we got to see and hear the heartbeat
    Third Ultrasound Feb 4th(10 weeks), then will  released to OBGYN'
    It's a GIRL!
    We welcomed Adalyn Cooper Elizabeth on 8/29/14
    She was 7lbs 11oz and 19.6 inches long

    Proud foster parents to two little girls ages 2.5 yrs old, M,  and 1 year old, K



    GoaliesWife123
  • It's really a decision you have to make for yourself.  I really wanted to conceive as naturally as possible, and held off on fertility meds for a long time (we didn't use Clomid until the 9th IUI).  I ovulated every cycle on my own; I probably would have started meds earlier if I had PCOS or any other ovulatory issue.  In retrospect, I do wish we'd move to meds earlier.  But I also know someone who used Clomid right off the bat and ended up with twins; she wished they'd waited a bit since they didn't really have any reason to need it and singletons would have been easier and safer.

    The bottom line is that Clomid is going to increase your chances of conceiving; that could save you money on donor sperm and time/stress.  On the other hand, it will also increase your odds of multiples, cysts and a thin lining.  You need to decide which you feel more comfortable with, and how important it is to you to get pregnant more quickly versus naturally.

    Personally, I did not have any issues with side effects with Clomid, but I didn't respond well to it (despite ovulating normally on my own, it made me not ovulate -- that is an unusual response, but it happens).  That is why we moved on to IVF after my Clomid cycle (like herbabymama, I wasn't interested in injectables IUIs).

    Good luck!
    Married my wife 8/2007 ~ TTC #1 since 7/2011
    9 IUIs = 9 BFNs
    IVF October 2012: 22 eggs retrieved, 17 fertilized, 5 frozen
    ET #1: 1 blast = BFP; Blighted ovum discovered at 7w5d; D&E
    FET #1: 1 blast = BFP; Missed m/c discovered at 9w5d; D&E
    Karyotyping: normal ~ RPL Testing: normal ~ Hysteroscopy: normal
    FET #2: 1 blast transferred 10/25; BFP 10/31!
    EDD 7/13/14 ~ Induced at 37w4d due to pre-eclampsia ~ Born on 6/28/14
    *Everyone welcome*

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    2MamazInSeattle[Deleted User]GoaliesWife123
  • My situation has ended way different than I ever thought but I do wish I would have been more aggressive earlier. With all the cost of ttc, I would have done more earlier. With that said, I struggled with major mood symptoms on Clomid... Mostly depression. I did acupuncture which helped. Good luck!
    Iui #1 = unmedicated = bfn. Iui # 2 = clomid 50 mg = bfn. Iui # 3 = clomid 50 mg = bfn. Iui # 4 = unmedicated = bfn. Iui # 5 = unmedicated = bfp - miscarriage at 5 wks. Iui #6 = nov 2012 = gonal f 75, endotrim 100= chemical pregnancy/bfn
    GoaliesWife123
  • I used Femara for my first three cycles.  Clomid wasn't presented as an option by my RE.  I had very little side effects with Femara.  As it shows in my signature, I used 5 mg for CD 3-7.  I only ever had one dominant follicle for each cycle.  If you absolutely do not want multiples and you respond (too) well to Clomid, you can always cancel your cycle.  My RE's office told us that with Femara, they only ever expect 1-2 follicles per cycle.  I would guess it might be the same for Clomid. 

     

    Me: 30  DW (aka C): 29

    Together since 2/15/11 ~ Legally married in NY on 9/29/12

    ***CP mentioned***

    We've been working on baby #1 since July 2013 using Open ID donor sperm.  8 IUI attempts with 5 actual IUIs and one chemical pregnancy.  We have one fresh IVF cycle under our belts as well as a FET.  I have endometriosis and a uterine septum that was corrected via surgery in November 2013. 

    11/14/14 -  Second HSG shows that tubes are still clear and ute is looking good. 

    12/6/14 - Started BCPs in prep for IVF #2

    12/22/14 - Saline u/s and endometrial scratch (All was clear and OUCH!)

    1/2/15 - Began stimming for IVF #2

     ****All Welcome!****

    We are Mommas to four fur babies - 3 dogs and 1 cat.

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    GoaliesWife123
  • Thank you!

    TTC our first. Married to, and madly in love with, my beautiful wife. Living with our fur baby and enjoying 19 nieces and nephews. 
    • DW and I have been tracking, preparing, getting medical testing since January 2013.
    • First Cycle: Unmedicated ICI w/ Donor Sperm 08/02/13: BFN
    • Second Cycle: Unmedicated ICI w/ Donor Sperm 09/11/13, 09/13/13, 09/15/13: BFN
    • Third Cycle: Unmedicated ICI w/ Donor Sperm: 10/13/13, 10/15/13, 10/17/13, 10/21/13: BFN
    • January 2014: Sonohysterogram shows excellent lining & tubes have no blockages
    • Fourth Cycle:  Monitored clomid cycle  w/ ICI's at home: 1/24/14 and 1/25/14. Ovulation verified:  BFN
    • Fifth Cycle: 02/2014 Femara 5mg with ovidrel trigger CD14: BFN
    • Taking a few months off to evaluate if we want to keep trying


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  • I never took clomid, but I took Femara. The only side effects that I ever experienced were headaches and mild hot flashes. The medicated and monitored cycles made me feel much more in control of the process, and made me feel like we were doing all we could to optimize our chances each cycle. We paid out of pocket for everything (since my insurance does not cover fertility treatments), so every attempt was about $1800 when you factor in the cost of the sperm. Based on this, we wanted to be as aggressive as possible. I have no regrets for being as aggressive as we were, because in the end we got pregnant and that was the goal. The emotional and physical toll that TTC took was not something that I was prepared for, so for me "throwing the kitchen sink at it" (to use a 2mamaz phrase!) was the best approach.

    Whatever you decide, best of luck and keep us posted!

    Me - 30, My wife - 31 , Together for 10 yrs - Married August 2012

    5 medicated IUIs w/ RE (March - July 2013) = BFN

    Fresh IVF Cycle in September 2013 resulted in 18 mature eggs, 16 fertilized, 12 made it to day 5. Transfer of 2 Grade A blastocysts on 9/15/13, and 10 embryos in the freezer!

     

         *****BFP on 9/25/13 - betas: @10dp5dt = 232; @12dp5dt = 465; @15dp5dt = 1,581

     

    *********William George born June 4, 2014*********

    trisholio
  • Thanks @KH! I'm currently trying to get a referral lined up for the RE because I'm thinking CD 1 is right around the corner. I don't want any delays once it arrives. We decided to adopt the mentality that "throwing the kitchen sink" is a good thing and we are going to try the clomid for this upcoming cycle. I'm excited and nervous, but regardless of what the outcome is, I have my DW and you all and that is all that matters. 

    Now, if only I could reach my PCP and get that referral lined up...

    TTC our first. Married to, and madly in love with, my beautiful wife. Living with our fur baby and enjoying 19 nieces and nephews. 
    • DW and I have been tracking, preparing, getting medical testing since January 2013.
    • First Cycle: Unmedicated ICI w/ Donor Sperm 08/02/13: BFN
    • Second Cycle: Unmedicated ICI w/ Donor Sperm 09/11/13, 09/13/13, 09/15/13: BFN
    • Third Cycle: Unmedicated ICI w/ Donor Sperm: 10/13/13, 10/15/13, 10/17/13, 10/21/13: BFN
    • January 2014: Sonohysterogram shows excellent lining & tubes have no blockages
    • Fourth Cycle:  Monitored clomid cycle  w/ ICI's at home: 1/24/14 and 1/25/14. Ovulation verified:  BFN
    • Fifth Cycle: 02/2014 Femara 5mg with ovidrel trigger CD14: BFN
    • Taking a few months off to evaluate if we want to keep trying


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    [Deleted User]2MamazInSeattle
  • Hey GW!
    I'm so happy to hear you're going to move forward with a medicated cycle. I think as humans we tend to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result - and while I do think TTC is a numbers game, there is a time to step it up and I think you're making a good decision!  I know you love your acupuncturist (as I also love mine!) and she has worked on a lot with you, I think significant systemic changes from acupuncture take a long, long time - whereas I know my blood pressure drops 20 points in a session sometimes so some things like circulation, relaxation, etc. I think is very in the moment too. I guess I'm kind of echoing @herbabymama - your RE will get you KU'd, while your acupuncturist supports the process.

    My RE as well presented fermera back when we thought we were going to do IUIs. I'd ask your acupuncturist why exactly she is so against it as that may be what your RE suggests. It is seen as the 'better' drug but is often not prescribed because it costs more.  It has less side effects and less chance of producing multiple follicles. Just saying I'd wait to decide which drug until you meet with the RE. Clomid is the one widely prescribed; it may be fermara is the right drug for you.

    My only clomid friend was unmonitored (duh!) at home ICI. She ended up pregnant with triplets. She selectively reduced and ended up having full-term healthy twins, however, she carries a very, very heavy heart knowing there was one more who will never be born (but balances that with the her belief that she may have had none if she hadn't reduced).

    My youngest sister is going to the same RE practice and they recommended femera to avoid the "clomid crazies" (my sister has a VERY sensitive body to everything). She also has mild PCOS, has gone gluten-free and sugar free as well and says it's made a huge difference overall in how she feels. She is essentially doing what you're doing - monitored medicated cycle followed by at home "insemination" (though she has a male partner so they have unlimited tries the old-fashioned way). Her bloodwork showed no immunity to chicken pox (!) so she had to get the booster and wait 2 months before cycling, but I'll let you know how she does when the time comes.

    Last thought - I know you are trying to minimize cost - but you might ask how much the actual IUI procedure costs. I know places that the OOP price was $250, and also had a friend go to a regular OB for the insem b/c it was way cheaper than the RE doing it and paid OOP - in the scheme of the cost of sperm, etc. it may be worth looking into to get the 'direct deposit' added in the mix. Just a thought since insurance will cover all the ancillary costs that tend to make the cycles overall cost a lot (ultrasounds, meds, etc.). Maybe not now but perhaps this is the next step in a few cycles if you aren't pregnant yet.

    Good luck and congrats on taking the next step!

    Lil'mamaz was born on Aug 21, 2014! She's PERFECT!

    It's been a long road to here...
    Me (43) and J (45) - same sex couple. And we don't feel 40+!
    June'12 - First RE Visit
    Sept. '12 - Tubes removed
    Dec. '12 - Donor Egg/Donor Sperm IVF Cycle - 4 good embies!
    Dec. '12 - Fresh transfer, BFP! EDD 8/29/13
    Mar. '13 - Missed m/c at 16w1d, baby boy stopped growing at 15w4d
    Loss due to umbilical cord clot...baby was perfect. :(
    Jul '13 - FET#1 - c/p
    Sept. '13 - FET#2 - BFN
    Dec.' 2, 2013 - FET#3 with our last chance embie - BFP!!!
    Dec' 26, 2013 - hb!!
    EDD 8/20/14 with a baby girl!
    Little S was born on 8/21/14 - 8lb, 14 oz and 20 inches long.
    We live in Seattle and used SRM for our donor egg IVF cycle


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    [Deleted User]GoaliesWife123
  • One more thought... You mentioned that you weren't sure Clomid was necessary bc you ovulate on your own. The secondary gain of Clomid is the production of more follicles/eggs released thus more opportunity for sperm to meet egg. That's a big bonus!
    Iui #1 = unmedicated = bfn. Iui # 2 = clomid 50 mg = bfn. Iui # 3 = clomid 50 mg = bfn. Iui # 4 = unmedicated = bfn. Iui # 5 = unmedicated = bfp - miscarriage at 5 wks. Iui #6 = nov 2012 = gonal f 75, endotrim 100= chemical pregnancy/bfn
    GoaliesWife123
  • Thank you all so much for your replies. Your insights were incredibly helpful!


    TTC our first. Married to, and madly in love with, my beautiful wife. Living with our fur baby and enjoying 19 nieces and nephews. 
    • DW and I have been tracking, preparing, getting medical testing since January 2013.
    • First Cycle: Unmedicated ICI w/ Donor Sperm 08/02/13: BFN
    • Second Cycle: Unmedicated ICI w/ Donor Sperm 09/11/13, 09/13/13, 09/15/13: BFN
    • Third Cycle: Unmedicated ICI w/ Donor Sperm: 10/13/13, 10/15/13, 10/17/13, 10/21/13: BFN
    • January 2014: Sonohysterogram shows excellent lining & tubes have no blockages
    • Fourth Cycle:  Monitored clomid cycle  w/ ICI's at home: 1/24/14 and 1/25/14. Ovulation verified:  BFN
    • Fifth Cycle: 02/2014 Femara 5mg with ovidrel trigger CD14: BFN
    • Taking a few months off to evaluate if we want to keep trying


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