Clomifene citrate is a fertility drug that induces ovulation and encourages conception. It is marketed under the brand names of Clomid, Serophene and Milophene. It is a popular medicine used by those unable to conceive due to problems with ovulation. The commonly asked question is whether there any side effects from Clomid.
Without prejudice, let it be very clear from the very outset that any chemical that is ingested into your body, it is liable to have an effect. The chances of harmful side effects are far greater if it is a synthetic substance. What is disturbing is that harmful side effects are often presented in a way that they outweigh the benefits derived from a particular drug.
Clomid is given about the fifth day from the start of a menstrual cycle, and the lowest dose is recommended as overdose may lead to multiple pregnancies. The listed adverse effects of Clomid include:
- Hot flushes
- Abdominal pain
- Blurred vision
- Ovarian enlargement (often temporary)
- Dry cervical mucus
Clomid may also cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, which is associated with weight gain (mild or moderate depending upon severity), feeling of fullness or bloating, nausea, vomiting, hair loss, dry skin and hair. Some of these conditions are similar to symptoms of thyroid problems, which lead to suspicions of development of a thyroid condition as a side effect of Clomid.
Normally, in a healthy menstrual cycle, follicles produce estrogen that signals the hypothalamus to further signal the release of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). The FSH stimulates growth of a vascular body in the ovary that encloses a developing egg. Thyroid hormones are also produced in a similar fashion. The hypothalamus senses the inadequacy or excess of thyroid hormones and signals the pituitary to release thyrotropin, the thyroid-stimulating hormone.
Clomid acts on the action of estrogen by preventing estrogen receptors to recycle. The hypothalamus erroneously perceives the estrogen levels as low and is compelled to stimulate the pituitary gland to produce FSH.
The hypothalamus is the master organ that controls the endocrine system, which includes the thyroid. It is due to this and the similarity of side effects with symptoms of thyroid problems that raises an element of doubt that Clomid may affect thyroid functioning. Conversely, there are also reports of a low thyroid condition interfering with menstrual cycles, which may indirectly lead to taking more than necessary doses of Clomid.
It is fair to conclude that whenever hormones related to pregnancy are introduced, there is a possibility of an effect on the level of thyroid hormones in your body. If you need to have a fertility medicine, it is best to have thyroid functioning tested regularly.