What Clomid Side Effects Mean for Mom and Baby

    clomid side effects

    For many women facing infertility, the first treatment route suggested by healthcare providers is Clomid. Clomid is an oral medication that works by stimulating the hormones that support the growth and release of a mature egg. (Essentially, it stimulates ovulation, which is when a woman is the most fertile.) If Clomid fails to produce a pregnancy, many couples opt to try a different procedure such as IVF or IUI. Many try Clomid first however, as it is far less expensive and invasive– though new evidence points to increased risks for birth defects when using Clomid versus other fertility treatments.

    The Problem with Clomid

    While Clomid has many benefits – including being relatively inexpensive, convenient to take from home, and non-invasive, it also has an underlying problem that other infertility treatments do not. Clomid should be used only when monitored closely by a physician, but it is easily attainable from a physician’s prescription and can even be purchased on the internet. And when the Clomid dose is not timed correctly, the developing child can be exposed to it, which is what ultimately leads to birth defects.

    “It’s not a drug that a fetus wants to be exposed to. It stops the growth of new blood vessels… not necessarily what we want to happen in a developing fetus,” says Researcher Michael Davies, PHD, MPH, and associate professor at the University of Adelaide.

    The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has even labeled Clomid as a drug that should not be used in pregnancy, because it raises the risk of major birth defects. But the problem is, that many women who are desperate to get pregnant but who cannot afford or do not want to pay for more expensive fertility treatments, don’t monitor their dosing with Clomid correctly, and unknowingly expose their fetus to the dangerous drug.

    Studies have shown that women who used Clomid without medical supervision have a 300% higher risk of giving birth to a baby with a birth defect than fertile couples.

    Clomid Side Effects For Mother

    Because with pregnancy, there are always two parties involved, it is necessary to discuss side effects for Clomid in terms of the mother and the developing child separately.

    Clomid Side Effects for the Mother

    Despite the potential of side effects for the fetus, Clomid can also have dangerous and uncomfortable side effects for the mother. These include:

    • Upset stomach

    • Bloating

    • Abdominal/pelvic fullness

    • Hot flashes

    • Tender breasts

    • Headache

    • Dizziness

    • Abnormal vagina bleeding

    • Mental/Mood changes

    • Vision

    Clomid can also spur Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). This condition may cause fluid to build up in the chest, heart, and stomach either before or after treatment. Medical professionals encourage you to get help immediately if you develop severe pain/swelling in the lower abdomen, rapid weight gain, diarrhea, vomiting, shortness of breath, change in urine quantities, pain or swelling in the legs, chest pain, and fast or irregular heartbeat.

    Clomid Birth Effects for the Developing Child

    One reason Clomid can increase risks of birth defects for the developing child, is that it increases the risk for multiple births, which also increases risks for the mother and developing children.

    Other possible Clomid birth defects include:

    • Abnormal bone development or skeletal malformations

    • Cardiac abnormalities; septal heart defects, muscular ventricular septal defect, etc.

    • Chromosomal disorders such as Downs syndrome

    • Ear abnormalities and deafness

    • Cleft lip and palate

    • Imperforate anus

    • Genitalia abnormalities

    • Lung tissue malformations

    • Eye and Visual malformations (including cataract)

    • Neoplasms, thyroid tumor, lymphocytic leukemia

    • Neural tube defects, microcephaly

    • Renal abnormalities

    • Dwarfism

    • Mental retardation

    • Endometriosis, ovarian cyst, tubal pregnancy

    • Anxiety, mood changes, irritability

    Though birth defects range in type and severity, there is a 300% higher risk of giving birth to a child with a birth defect when using Clomid.

    If you or a loved one have taken Clomid whether with or without a physician’s moderation and experienced severe side effects or given birth to a child with birth defects, you may be entitled to compensation. Learn more about Clomid injury claims and see what can be done to give you the justice you and your child deserve.

    Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity,, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.

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