Clomifene, also known as clomiphene, is a non-steroidal medication used primarily in the treatment of infertility in women. It belongs to a class of drugs known as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) and works by stimulating the release of certain hormones that are necessary for ovulation to occur.
Clomifene is available in various forms, including tablets, capsules, and injections. The most common form of clomifene is a tablet, which is typically taken once a day for five days during the menstrual cycle. The exact dosage and duration of treatment may vary depending on the individual’s condition and response to treatment.
Clomifene is primarily used to treat infertility in women who are not ovulating or who have irregular ovulation cycles. It can also be used in combination with other fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), to increase the chances of successful pregnancy.
Clomifene works by binding to estrogen receptors in the hypothalamus and blocking the negative feedback mechanism that inhibits the release of certain hormones necessary for ovulation to occur. This leads to an increase in the levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), which stimulate the growth and maturation of ovarian follicles and the subsequent release of an egg.
In addition to its use in treating infertility, clomifene has also been used in the treatment of male hypogonadism, a condition in which the body produces insufficient levels of testosterone. It works by increasing the production of LH and FSH, which in turn stimulates the production of testosterone by the testes.
As with any medication, clomifene may cause side effects in some individuals. Common side effects may include hot flashes, mood swings, breast tenderness, and nausea. In rare cases, clomifene may increase the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), a condition in which the ovaries become enlarged and produce too many eggs. This can lead to abdominal pain, bloating, and fluid accumulation in the abdomen and chest.
Clomifene is contraindicated in women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have liver disease or a history of ovarian cysts. It should also be used with caution in women with a history of thromboembolic disorders, as it may increase the risk of blood clots.
In summary, clomifene is a selective estrogen receptor modulator used primarily in the treatment of infertility in women. It works by stimulating the release of certain hormones necessary for ovulation to occur and has been shown to be effective in increasing the chances of successful pregnancy. However, it may cause side effects and should be used with caution in certain populations.