Clomid : What are the Natural Alternatives to Stimulate Ovulation?
Clomid is often one of the first fertility medications suggested by doctors. But what are the natural alternatives to stimulate and regulate your ovulation?
Why is Clomid prescribed?
Clomid is a common fertility medication. It's generally the first one when someone's going the medical route that they'll be exposed to. Clomid is going to be used for a lot of different reasons but generally used in cases where there's a lack of ovulation or what is called anovulation.
So that means that there's not regular ovulation. A woman is not ovulating either because of PCOS or there's other fertility issues occurring like hormonal imbalances.
In that case, Clomid might be what is prescribed. It's generally what is suggested by the doctors.
How does Clomid work?
Clomid is a selective estrogen modulator. It increases the production of gonadotropin, which is a hormone released by the pituitary gland and it inhibits the negative feedback loop with the hypothalamus. So it's basically going to force the body to ovulate.
Most women who takes Clomid actually ovulate. However it's not always guaranteed but that is the purpose of it. A lot of times it is used to hyper stimulate the ovaries so that ovulation occurs. Sometimes multiple follicles will also mature and it's used for that as well.
The side effects of Clomid
There are a couple of side effects that can happen with Clomid:
- Multiple births can be a side effect of Clomid because there's multiple follicles that are being stimulated and being matured.
- Enlarged ovaries, pain and bloating in the abdomen or pelvis. It's very intense experience because of all of these follicles being stimulated.
- Mid-cycle spotting
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
Those are a lot of the major side effects. But there is one major one that I have seen a lot with our patients which is the emotional roller coaster that Clomid puts you through.
So just be aware of that when you are taking it.
The thing with Clomid is that you know a lot of people who had success with it but a lot of people have had a lot of issues with it. So I wanted to share with you some alternatives.
Why are you not ovulating?
The biggest issue with Clomid is it's not going to solve poor egg health, it's not going to solve a fertility issue such a PCOS or amenorrhea or anything like that it's only going to force ovulation for that one cycle. So what I want you to think about is: why are you not ovulating?
Ovulation is the end result of a whole cascade of events that are happening in your hormonal system. So if ovulation is not happening, there's something before it that is out of balance.
If you take Clomid or try some of these natural replacements and get pregnant from it, there is still going to be that underlying issue of not ovulating. So I want you to think about why you are not ovulating.
Natural alternatives to Clomid
The foundation that needs to be in place before we talk about these natural alternatives is going to be:
- Eating a nourishing diet
- Exercising regularly
- Having some type of stress reduction plan
- Practicing something to increase circulation to the reproductive systems such as fertility massage
Tribulus Terrestris is an herb that it can be used to help normalize ovulation. The best time to use it is prior to ovulation.
One study performed had 36 women in it who were not ovulating. That's what qualified them for the study. After using tribulus for 2 to 3 months, 67% of them started ovulating normally again. So that's after only 2 to 3 months of consecutive use of tribulus they were ovulating again. Those are great odds!
When you're looking at IVF success rates, it is 30%. So 67% is a really good number!
The next herb is going to be vitex. One of my favorite herbs. I don't think a week goes by that we don't talk about vitex. You may have come across the Latin name "Angus castus" or also known as "chaste tree berry".
It's a fantastic herb to help support ovulation. It does it through the hormonal feedback loop. It helps to support the pituitary, the hypothalamus as well as the ovaries.
It's important for you to know that the ovaries are actually part of the endocrine system because they do produce hormones.
So Vitex helps to support that hormonal feedback loop which is going to make the hormonal cycle function as it should.
Vitex is also one of the main herbs we like to use to help with PCOS.
Shatavari is an herb that is similar to asparagus but it's the root. It's an estrogen regulator that helps regulate the menstrual cycle.
You may have come across its Latin name "asparagus racemosus".
Shatavari is like an overall tonic, it works very well with all the other herbs to support ovulation.
Maca is another herb that can be used to help support the overall hormonal cycle. It's very nourishing to the endocrine system. It also helps to control hormonal function and helps to keep everything balanced, especially in cases with excess estrogen.
Can you use all of these herbs together?
Yes you can! If you're definitely not ovulating, all these herbs work really well together.
Can you combine Clomid with fertility herbs?
There have been some small studies done on using tribulus in combination with Clomid with favorable results. I have to tell you that we do not ever want to combine fertility herbs and fertility medications together. Because when you're doing fertility medications and you're on a protocol, you want to focus on that. You don't want to mess with strong medications, especially when you're preparing for something as expensive as IVF. So you might want to do your herbs beforehand, before you start your medications.
I hope you found this helpful. If you are interested in natural fertility supplements, feel free to visit our online store.