Infertility update: My experience taking Clomid – my first, and unsuccessful cycle.
So in my last infertility update, I spoke about how I needed to have laparoscopic surgery to check whether there was anything else on top of my PCOS stopping us from conceiving our much wanted second baby. Fast forward to and I had another appointment with the lovely Dr Booker who dropped the bombshell that, not only had I not had the surgery pencilled in but he was leaving and therefore couldn’t say whether I would ever get the surgery I needed. The only silver lining was that this meant he was finally going to start me on Clomid.
We were extremely excited to start taking it! Clomid is sort of hailed as this wonder drug in the infertility community, for those with and without PCOS. The statistics for Clomid are 80% of women with PCOS will ovulate whilst taking Clomid, and 50% will get pregnant within 6 months/cycles taking it. But it you go online (which I do, a LOT) the forums are full of success stories, women falling pregnant in the first cycle of trying! I was convinced that Clomid would work for me.
Clomid to put it simply, is a drug taken at the beginning of your cycle for 5 days with the purpose of it being to make your ovaries produce follicles large enough to release an egg. The problem with PCOS for fertility is that rather then producing one large follicle which releases one good quality egg as is ‘normal’, you produce lots of small follicles but because you produce so many they don’t get large enough to force them to release an egg and instead they just stay sitting there small and not doing a lot or even turning into potentially dangerous or painful cysts. Clomid aims to force ovulation, which when you haven’t ovulated by yourself naturally in several months is an exciting concept.
Clomid is a powerful medication with a high dose of the hormone oestrogen and even when taken at the lowest dose of 50mg it is a case of, not will you get side effects, it is which side effects will you get.
The most common side effects are:
-and most seriously Ovarian hyperstimulation (although this is most uncommon).
To document my side effects and my experiences with Clomid I kept a detailed video diary.
For the first cycle of Clomid most doctors (at least NHS ones) will bring you in for regular follicle scans which are basically short internal ultrasounds that monitor how many follicles are growing and how big they grow. This is to check whether the Clomid has worked to force ovulation so if it is unsuccess in resulting in pregnancy you know whether you have ovulated at all. Fortunately for me, I did indeed ovulate. Unfortunately, that ovulation did not result in a pregnancy.
There is something extra crushing about not conceiving when as far as you can tell everything was heading towards a pregnancy, perfect ovulation, perfect lining, perfect timing of having sex. Infertility is cruel and no matter how many times you can tell yourself you don’t think it will ever happen, you aren’t getting your hopes up, you are being ‘realistic’ about your chances, every times you only see one pink line on a pregnancy test, or period comes it is a fresh pain, a brand new disappointment.
However, right at the end of my clomid cycle I got the news I had been waiting for since June, my surgery had finally been scheduled! So a short pause in trying to conceive whilst I prepare for my operation and recover and then we will be back in the game, with a fresh cycle of clomid and fresh hope!
To follow my infertility journey be sure to like my Facebook page, my twitter and my Instagram to see updates as they are published.
I vlogged my cycle taking Clomid and my experiences going in and out of hospital for follicle scan, tracking my progress and eventually ovulating! Unfortunately, clomid was half successful for me, I ovulated, for the first time in about a year, I ovulated by myself and close to the average day 14 of the cycle, I actually ovulated on day 17 rather than day 35, day 70, day 50 that it had been the few times I had ovulated in the last year or so. Unfortunately, I did not fall pregnant so our trying to conceive journey continues.