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Clomid for Infertility: What You Need to Know

doctor ryan martin of shady grove fertility
Medical Contribution by Ryan Martin, M.D.

For over 50 years, clomiphene citrate (also known as clomiphene, Clomid, or Serophene) has been used to help treat infertility. Clomid is an oral medication prescribed for infertility, but unlike more advanced fertility technologies, pregnancy rates with Clomid have not changed over time.

Many people are aware of Clomid as a low-tech, lower-cost option than in vitro fertilization (IVF) and are happy to learn they can try this type of treatment with their existing OB/GYN or primary care physician. While many women are able to conceive with Clomid, for those who don’t, the decision about when is the appropriate time to move on to a different treatment can be unclear.

When is Clomid Used for Infertility?

Clomid is most successful as the first line of treatment for women who experience irregular or absent menstrual cycles. Clomid can also be used for women who ovulate normally, but who have otherwise unexplained infertility. Clomid treatment generally results in a 10-12 percent pregnancy rate per cycle, even when combined with intrauterine insemination (IUI).

Women who do not ovulate due to low body weight or hypothalamic amenorrhea (when menstruation stops for several months) rarely respond to Clomid.

Clomid Pregnancy Rates

The goal of treatment with Clomid is to normalize or induce ovulation by taking a 50 mg dose per day on days 3 through 7 of the menstrual cycle. Eighty percent of women taking Clomid will successfully ovulate and 10 to 12 percent will conceive per cycle.

Though Clomid is generally well tolerated by most people, in some cases it can lead to changes in a woman’s cervical mucus and have endometrial effects that can negatively impact success rates. There is no evidence that shows increasing the dosage of Clomid will result in an increase in pregnancy rates. Increased dosages of Clomid may actually worsen the side effects.

Another factor that limits the success of Clomid is that many people have other unknown infertility factors. A previous study showed that 87 percent of women who ovulated but failed to conceive with Clomid had an additional cause of infertility such as Adhesions, tubal disease, endometriosis, male factor infertility, or a combination of these factors. Diagnostic testing such as a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), semen analysis, and ultrasound should be performed prior to Clomid treatment to rule out other fertility factors.

It’s important to note that a woman’s age plays a major role in pregnancy rate outcomes regardless of the diagnosis.

Your physician may recommend you combine Clomid with intrauterine insemination (IUI) if Clomid alone does not result in a pregnancy.

Related Content:

READ: Low-Tech Infertility Treatments: 50 Percent of All SGF Treatment Cycles
WATCH: SGF On-Demand Low-Tech Webinar

How Many Cycles of Clomid Should You Try Before Moving On?

There are several factors that may influence how many cycles of Clomid you should attempt before moving on to a more advanced line of treatment under the care of a reproductive endocrinologist.

Patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), anovulation, or irregular periods taking Clomid without ultrasound monitoring:

  • Women under 38 should attempt no more than six cycles.
  • Women 38 and over should attempt no more than three cycles 

Patients taking Clomid with ultrasound monitoring:

  • Women under 37 should attempt no more than three to four cycles.
  • Women 37 or older should move on to more advanced treatment immediately.

Every patient’s treatment plan is unique and the type of treatment is based on the age, diagnosis, and medical history of the patient. We take a stepped-approach to treatment, starting with the simplest, most affordable treatment options first and move up to more advanced treatments only if needed. More than half of all treatment cycles we do are considered low tech.

The Emotional Aspect of Treatment

It’s important to consider the psychological toll that multiple unsuccessful treatments can have on couples.

When thinking about moving on to another form of treatment, it is important to consider how many cycles you have attempted, your age, and the guidance from your physician based on data-driven decisions. While we consider the facts and statistics based on each patient’s situation, we encourage our patients to do what feels right for them.

In addition to evaluating the medical recommendations, we understand the emotional and financial aspects of infertility can weigh heavily on the decision to begin treatment or move to a new level of care. At Shady Grove Fertility, we offer a variety of clinical, financial, and emotional resources to help you find the answers and support you need to take the next step towards building a family.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness as of February 2021.

To schedule a virtual consultation with an SGF physician, please call our New Patient Center at 1-888-761-1967 or submit this brief form.

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  1. Adrish

    April 5, 2020 - 7:43 am

    Hi I’m 25 years old and trying to conceive from over 6 months. I don’t have any kind of pelvic abnormalities, fibroids or PCO’s. Do you think clomid is worth taking? And for how long?

    • Shady Grove Fertility

      April 7, 2020 - 4:23 pm

      Hi Adrish,
      I’m sorry to hear about your TTC journey.
      Women under the age of 35 should consult a fertility specialist after 12 months of trying to conceive. A fertility specialist will run all tests needed and will create personalized plan to help you achieve pregnancy. If you would like to schedule a virtual consult with a fertility specialist and get more information about getting your fertility tested, please fill out this form or call 1-888-761-1967.

  2. Kaitlin N Jenkins

    March 23, 2020 - 9:54 am

    Hi, I am 19 and I suffer from irregular periods, I can not ovulate on my own and can go months without a period. I have been trying to conceive for a little over a year. Will clomid help me get pregnant?

    • Shady Grove Fertility

      March 26, 2020 - 8:38 pm

      Hi Kaitlin,
      Ovulatory disorders are one of the leading causes of infertility. Your treatment will depend on your specific needs. Consulting with a fertility specialist to create a personalized treatment plan based on your body’s needs is the best thing you can do.

      If you would like to schedule a virtual consult, fill out this form or call 1-888-761-1967 to speak to a member of our New Patient Center.

  3. Dermiey

    January 21, 2020 - 12:23 pm

    Hi, i am 27, i have irregular menstration, sometimes normal, sometimes i skip a month and when it comes it would last for more 7-9days, i did ultrasound and there is nothing wrong with my pelvic, no cyst, no fibriod. I am trying to get pregnant. I was told to use Clomephene citrate 50mg and Evening primerose oil. Would it help??

    • Shady Grove Fertility

      January 27, 2020 - 4:17 pm

      Hi Dermiey,
      Sorry to hear about your #TTC journey. Irregular menstruation is an immediate indicator to see a fertility specialist. Fertility testing will be able to indicate the cause of the irregularity. The purpose of Clomephene is to induce ovulation, so it will address your irregular/lack of ovulation. It is important that Clomid cycles are monitored, as multiples can occur with this medication.

      Best of luck on your #TTC journey.

  4. Erica

    November 14, 2019 - 9:37 pm

    Hi I’m 35 and been trying to get pregnant since March of this year and have been unsuccessful should I start clomid to help get pregnant

    • Shady Grove Fertility

      January 27, 2020 - 6:10 pm

      Hi Erica,

      Because of your age and how long you have been trying to conceive, it is best you contact a fertility specialist and get a full fertility testing workup done. Starting Clomid may not be the answer to why you are not trying to get pregnant. Fertility testing will help your specialist understand what the best plan is for your unique case.

      If you would like to speak with someone for more information about the fertility testing process, fill out this form and they will reach out to you.

      Best of luck on your #ttc journey!

  5. Sebe

    August 10, 2019 - 9:27 am

    I’m 40 my tubes were block and I went for operation but now I want to try Should I take Clomid for my treatment

    • Shady Grove Fertility

      August 12, 2019 - 1:50 pm

      Hi Sebe!

      Many women have found success with different treatments after a tubal ligation procedure, but without knowing your medical history I can’t say for sure which one would be best. If you’re interested in speaking with a physician, I’d recommend making an initial consult with a fertility specialist to learn what options are best for you, and then going from there. A specialist will be able to review your history and offer a personalized plan to help you get pregnant. SGF has locations in MD, VA, PA, GA, Fl, and NY, so if you’re looking to make an appointment then call 888-761-1967 or fill out this form :)

      Best of luck!

  6. Meher asif

    June 8, 2019 - 5:15 pm

    I am 27 with PCOS and TTC since 1 year. My Gynecologist has prescribed me clomid last month and asked to take it once I get my periods. I was due for my periods on 22 of May but my periods didn’t come and I couldn’t start clomid.
    Do I have to wait for my periods or I can start clomid now without periods?

    • Shady Grove Fertility

      June 11, 2019 - 4:39 pm

      Hi #TTC sister,

      You should consult with your physician about when the right time to take Clomid is. PCOS is a very treatable disease. I would recommend making an appointment with a fertility specialist to ensure you are on a proper treatment plan. If you would like to learn more about getting pregnant with PCOS, click here. We also have an on-demand webinar that you can watch at anytime about getting pregnant with PCOS, watch it here.

  7. Helen Harrison

    May 28, 2019 - 12:11 pm

    Hello, first off I am a South African and I live in SA. My daughter, aged 35yrs 6 months recently fell pregnant after having taken CLOMID for about 4 months – great joy . . . . until the ‘missed pregnancy’ occurred at about 8 / 9 weeks – devastation ! Today she was prescribed a second round of pills to expel remaining foetal (?) matter. The gynaecologist told her that she must NOT take Clomid for minimum of six months because ‘she will have a repeat of the miss’. Doctor unwilling to discuss this statement . . . ‘It is how things work with Clomid’ ! was her only comment. To my mind, an unsatisfactory answer. Can you / will you be kind enough to reply to me. Clomid was originally prescribed because it had been determined that my daughter’s cycles are, in fact, anovulatory.


    Helen Harrison

    • Shady Grove Fertility

      June 11, 2019 - 5:40 pm

      Hi Helen,
      We are sorry to hear about your daughter’s journey. Without knowing her patient background or seeing her, it is hard for us to give you an answer as to why her gynecologist said that. I would suggest she seeks help from a fertility specialist because they are able to give more insight and have other treatment methods that aren’t just Clomid. If you would like more information about why a fertility specialist, click here.

  8. Jackie

    May 5, 2019 - 3:00 am

    Im 45 trying to get pregnant whats my chances im currently taking 50mg if clomiphene citrate

  9. Ruth

    April 4, 2019 - 3:19 am

    Is there any link found with taking Clomid for infertility and 32 years later have metastatic breast cancer?

  10. Brooke

    March 31, 2019 - 2:02 pm

    I started clomid my last cycle. My doctor said I can be on clomid no more than 6 cycles. My concern is… do you have to wait so many months to start clomid again? For example if clomid doesn’t work, and then we move to IUI, will I have to wait to take clomid again?

  11. J.T.

    March 16, 2019 - 7:16 pm

    I am 42 and I am trying to get pregnant. My OB/GYN took my blood test and said that my AMH level is too low and FSH level is too high and suggested me to go fertility center for help but I really want to try to get pregnant naturally. I had tried for about 2 months but nothing is happening. I wonder if I take Clomid would it help my situation.

    • Shady Grove Fertility

      March 19, 2019 - 9:01 pm

      Hi there, a fertility specialist will create a personalized treatment plan for you and your partner’s specific needs. Fertility treatment doesn’t always mean IVF. If you would like to speak with someone about your options, or to schedule an appointment, feel free to call 877-971-7755 or fill out this brief online form.

  12. Mathy badibanga

    February 8, 2019 - 12:44 pm

    I want used clomid I’m 40 years my situation is my tubes is closed are you sure can help me to be pregnant if I’m using clomid?

    • Shady Grove Fertility

      February 22, 2019 - 4:29 pm

      Hi there, because your tubes are tied and you want to get pregnant, you can either get a tubal reversal or come in for an IVF consultation. Learn more about the differences with these procedures here. If you have any other questions or would like to speak with a fertility specialist about trying to get pregnant, feel free to call: 888-761-1967.

  13. Shelley

    October 1, 2018 - 7:14 pm

    I’m 40 and trying to get pregnant. On my 1st cycle of clomid. I have used it before and have gotten pregnant so I know it does work. Should have sex before your fertile days just have sex as much as you can everyday. If you don’t get a period the next month do a preg test.

    • Isamar

      February 14, 2019 - 3:17 pm

      Am 27 and I been trying to get pregnant and haven’t have look How do you take clomid for better results

      • Shady Grove Fertility

        February 22, 2019 - 4:23 pm

        Hi there #TTCsister, if you have been trying for at least a year with no success, the best thing you can do is see a fertility specialist.

  14. Elissa

    August 13, 2018 - 11:44 pm

    Hello! What are your thoughts on Femara vs. Clomid? Why do most doctors prescribe Clomid first when Femara is reported to have fewer side effects and a higher live birth rate? Or is that untrue? Thank you!

    • Shady Grove Fertility

      September 24, 2018 - 6:28 pm

      Hi Elissa, here is a reply from Dr. Martin, “Letrozole (Femara) is slightly better for PCOS patients, but I use Clomid with most other patients.” We hope this helps.

  15. Nina

    April 30, 2018 - 5:32 am

    I am 42 with one successful ivf at 38. Now my ivf ended up with misscarriage. Doctor said everything went well and probably you have low quality eggs. Do you think clomid is worth trying?

    • Shady Grove Fertility

      August 6, 2018 - 3:30 pm

      Hi Nina, each case is different. If you are looking for a second opinion consult, please call 1-888-761-1967. Thank you.

  16. Catherine Williams

    March 24, 2018 - 12:54 pm

    I want to get pregnant I need your help

    • Shady Grove Fertility

      March 30, 2018 - 7:12 pm

      Hi Catherine, please call our new patient center at 888-761-1967 to schedule a consult.

  17. Catherine Williams

    March 24, 2018 - 12:52 pm

    My name is Catherine Williams for the last five and the half years I have not see my menstration is there anyway you can help bring back my menstration please I need your help

    • Shady Grove Fertility

      March 30, 2018 - 7:12 pm

      Hi Catherine, please call our new patient center at 888-761-1967 to schedule a consult.

  18. Jean

    January 29, 2018 - 11:47 am

    I have irregular periods, took 10mg of provera and on the 3rd got my period. I started on clomid on cycle day 3. How long must I wait to see if clomid worked?

  19. Kelly

    October 13, 2017 - 3:18 pm

    Clomid worked for me. Last year, at age 52, I got pregnant on my first cycle of Clomiphene Citrate 50mg x 3/day from day 9 to day 13. I was a late bloomer and didn’t start my period until I was 18 years old and my OB/GYN said that may have help me get pregnant at my age. I had no complications with my pregnancy. Clomid works!

  20. Anna

    October 6, 2017 - 11:02 pm

    Today’s is the 6th of October, my last period started 21 August and I started clomifene citrate on 25 August, ovulated on the 31st….. but until now no period, I went for a scan and ultrasound last Tuesday and was told no pregnancy…. I’m 45 years old, have not been on contraception for 16 years, my periods regular and on time every month,and ovulate naturally as well…. when do you suggest I go for another scan? I don’t know and I’m so confused… please help me

  21. Missy

    September 2, 2017 - 12:38 am

    Losing weight isn’t always the best option. It can throw your body into hypothalamic amenorrhea which is not an easy thing to treat.

  22. Renu k

    August 14, 2017 - 10:58 am

    Hello Trusha,
    By following my physician’s recommendation I have taken Clomid for 2 cycles so far, between the days 5 to 9, without any results :-( . But I have read some doctors suggest to take them between the days 3 to 7 of period cycle.
    I hope this is helpful.

  23. trusha kyada

    August 6, 2017 - 11:24 am

    can you suggest me how can i take clomid. on period 1st day or 3rd day i want start.

  24. Amber

    July 14, 2016 - 4:05 pm

    You will not treat me because my BMI is too high.

    • virginia gonzalez

      July 24, 2016 - 12:07 am

      I have never been to shady Grove fertility but I’m pretty sure they’re really good and don’t think because you have a high BMI you can’t get pregnant you can my BMI is higher than 30 and I did IVF and the first one I got pregnant… I wish this helps you think differently …

      • Diana

        July 26, 2016 - 3:06 pm

        No, it’s true. Shady Grove keeps their BMI requirements super low so they publish better results. I went there and was incredible disappointed because they wouldn’t even talk to me about taking Clomid (which does not require anesthesia btw, which is what Shady Grove said was the reason for their BMI requirements). If you are looking for better options Amber, go to John Hopkins – they have a BMI requirement thats 50 and most people can meet it. Even if you have a higher BMI , they will work with you in treatment options.

        Good luck

        • Nell

          July 26, 2017 - 2:24 pm

          Many people can’t conceive because of things they can’t control. Your BMI is something you can control. So lose weight. If you want it badly enough, do it.

  25. @PathologyChief

    May 26, 2016 - 1:18 pm

    Good introductory article for the general public! -@PathologyChief

  26. amanda

    November 6, 2015 - 11:21 am

    I been trying over 10 years to get pregnant with one tube due to a ectopic pregnancy in 2005.

    • Shady Grove Fertility

      November 11, 2015 - 12:11 pm

      Hi Amanda – Have you spoken with a reproductive endocrinologist to learn more about your options? Given your medical history, you may want to consider scheduling a consultation. To do so, please contact our New Patient Center at 1.877.971.7755 or visit http://bit.ly/SGFappt.

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