What Is the Connection between Clomid® and FSH?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 17 October 2019
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Clomid®, or clomiphene, and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) have an indirect connection that may positively affect fertility in some women, making the medication a common choice for fertility treatment. Generally, Clomid® and FSH are related because the drug may influence the production of body chemicals that elevate follicle-stimulating hormone levels. Higher amounts of FSH then assist in the maturation and release of eggs, which increases the chance of pregnancy. Clomiphene is not always successful, however, and fertility treatment with other drugs, such as direct FSH substitutes, might be required. The medication also has side effects and risks that need to be considered.

Scientists are not clear exactly how clomiphene works, but they advance a basic theory on the connection between Clomid® and FSH. It’s believed that clomiphene binds to certain receptors that signal the hypothalamus gland. This signal causes a demand for production of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which stimulates the pituitary gland to release FSH. An increased supply of FSH results in the maturation and release of eggs. Additionally, it may influence production of luteinizing hormone, which helps prepare the uterus to sustain a pregnancy.


If this explanation of the relationship between Clomid® and FSH is accurate, it becomes easy to understand why using the fertility medication doesn’t always result in pregnancy. In situations where the ovaries have stopped producing eggs, FSH has no appropriate function since there are no eggs to release. Alternately, clomiphene may not inspire enough response from the hypothalamus gland and a more direct supplementation with GnRH or FSH is needed. Another possible problem could be due to poor production of luteinizing hormone, which could be directly supplied with certain medications.

Nevertheless, in women who are still ovulating, Clomid® may be a first choice as a fertility drug. It is ordinarily given for no more than six cycles, and it may be used in conjunction with artificial insemination to increase the chances of pregnancy. Generally, if the drug is effective, it will usually work within the first four cycles.

Clomid® also has risks, and chief among these are that it can cause birth defects. It needs to be discontinued right after pregnancy occurs to lower this likelihood. Many women note drug side effects when they use this medication, too, such as flushing, weight gain, and irritability. On the other hand, since Clomid® and FSH have a connection, using this medicine is a frequently considered option for fertility treatment.


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