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Clomid (clomiphene sulfate) is a drug commonly used by women with infertility problems to produce pregnancy. It is the drug that one hears about when women have multiple births including sextuplets, septuplets and octuplets.
Myron I. Murdock, M.D., FACS
Medical Director, HHH
Clomid (clomiphene sulfate) is a drug commonly used by women with infertility problems to produce pregnancy. It is the drug that one hears about when women have multiple births including sextuplets, septuplets and octuplets.
It has become a popular fertility drug for women, though it’s major complication is multiple births and is associated fetal death. Now, amazingly, it has been found to be very effective in men with etiopathic of low sperm counts. Clomid works by stimulating the pituitary gland to produce higher levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) which stimulates the ovaries in women and the primary spermatogonia in the testes.
In the past when men were found to be infertile as is the case in 50 percent of couples if the etiology of the infertility was not a baracacile and if the hormonal pituitary testicular access was normal this idiopathic or unknown form of male infertility had no treatment. Urologists who deal with infertility have begun to use Clomid similar to the way it is used in women to treat this form of formerly untreatable infertility.
Patients are given 50 to 100 milligrams of Clomid twice a day for three of four weeks resting on the last week. Remember, that no matter what one does to a male the sperm cycle is approximately 120 days and therefore the results of this therapy take at least four to six months. Obviously sperm counts are obtained before therapy demonstrating low levels of sperm frequently poor motility and many abnormal forms and the hormones including LH and FSH of prolactin are normal.
After four months of treatment sperm counts are obtained again and blood tests for hormones are also repeated. If an adequate dose of Clomid has been given the hormones LH and FSH will be high as well as the levels of male testosterone. If the sperm count has not improved with these increasing levels in hormones indicating effective doses of Clomid then therapy is ineffective and usually discontinued.
On the other hand, if the hormones LH and FSH and testosterone are elevated and the sperm counts are improved continuation of the therapy ensues and the patients are followed accordingly. The additional effects of the Clomid include increase sexual desire as the male hormones rise and frequently associated with breast swelling and tenderness. In cases in which the hormones don’t rise adequately and the sperm counts remain low higher doses of Clomid may be necessary.
When and if this therapy fails or is not sufficient to improve the sperm count biopsy of the testes may be necessary to give a more specific diagnosis which may involve other forms of treatment or surgery.
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