Clomid - What You Should Know And Natural Alternatives
Struggling to achieve pregnancy warrants a doctor’s visit and more than likely the first suggestion from your doctor will be a drug called Clomid. Today, Clomid is one of the most utilized and talked about fertility drugs. Because of this, we get many questions about it weekly, so I decided to cover this live on Periscope and record it so you can benefit from the information I share. Below are my notes from the live video recording. Download the Periscope App to get notifications of my live broadcasts!
Clomid is often one of the first fertility medications suggested by doctors for anovulation (lack of ovulation), or irregular ovulation, due to PCOS or other fertility issues.
Clomid is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM). It increases production of gonadotropins (hormones released by the pituitary gland) by inhibiting negative feedback on the hypothalamus. It is used for ovarian hyperstimulation for IVF preparation, and to stimulate and regulate ovulation in women with anovulatory cycles. It is most commonly used for women with PCOS.
Clomid is designed to force the body to ovulate, sometimes stimulating ovulation of multiple follicles. It is important to know that not all women will ovulate when taking Clomid.
Side Effects of Clomid Use:
- multiple births
- enlarged ovaries
- pain and bloating in the abdomen/pelvis
- mid-cycle spotting
- heavy menstrual bleeding
- emotional roller coaster
While Clomid may help you get pregnant right away, it does not solve the root of the problem. Think about this: “Why am I not ovulating?”
Clomid cannot solve poor egg health, PCOS, amenorrhea, etc., and it may negatively impact these fertility health issues.
Herbs as Alternatives to Clomid
Before using any herbs, it is important to have the following healthy habits in place:
- Natural Fertility Diet
- Regular exercise
- Stress reduction practice
- Self Fertility Massage (increases circulation to the reproductive organs)
Tribulus (Tribulus terrestris)
Tribulus may normalize ovulation in women considered to be infertile due to anovulation, when used prior to ovulation.
One study performed on 36 women who were not ovulating, showed that that 67% realized normal ovulation after only 2-3 months of consistent use. Tribulus has also been found to be a nourishing tonic for the female reproductive system as a whole, especially concerning the ovaries.
Rat studies showed that this herb promotes normal ovarian function and reduction in ovarian cysts. Tribulus has also been found to reduce antisperm antibodies.
Vitex also known as Chaste Tree Berry (Vitex agnus-castus)
The berry of the Chaste tree has been found to help normalize ovulation. Vitex supports hormonal balance by having an effect on the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis (hormonal feedback loop), correcting the problem at the source.
Vitex has been used to reduce the impact of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) on fertility with great results. This herb takes time to be effective, but works to normalize the entire menstrual cycle, not force ovulation.
Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)
Shatavari is a supportive female reproductive health tonic. Shatavari’s main constituents are steroidal-sapponins, suggesting its use as an estrogen regulator, which is what makes it helpful for promoting menstrual cycle regulation and cervical mucus production. This plant is also an adaptogen, which has been shown to protect the body from stressors, including stress related infertility issues. Shatavari combines well with Tribulus terrestris.
Maca (Lepidium meyenii)
Maca promotes hormonal balance overall, is nourishing to the endocrine system, which controls hormone function. This herb has been shown safe to combine with all the herbs on this page.
Q: Can these herbs be used together?
A: Yes, they work better this way.
Q: Can I combine Clomid with these herbs?
A: No, we don’t want to mess with your medical protocol and we don’t recommend use of herbs that have an action on the hormonal system with medications that also act on hormones.
– Stanislavov, R., & Nikolova, V. (2000). Tribulus terrestris and human male fertility: I. Immunological Aspects. Comptes Rendus de l’Academie Bulgare des Sciences, 53(10), 107. Retrieved from: http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/full/2000crabs..53j.107s/J000107.000.html