Clomid, a popular brand name for clomiphene citrate, is an oral fertility medication approved by The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in women with fertility issues.
Although FDA approves Clomid for use in women only, most doctors prescribe it off-label to treat male infertility.
In this article, we'll discuss everything you need to know about Clomid for men, how it works, its side effects, and how to reduce the side effects. Let's get started.
How is Clomid used in men?
Clomiphene citrate for men is used to increase male fertility by boosting testosterone levels. Typically, testosterone levels (T levels) decrease naturally with age. To help you understand more about testosterone levels, here is a guide on the average T levels by age.
Besides boosting testosterone levels, clomiphene for men also helps correct hormonal imbalances and increases sperm count levels.
So, how does it work?
Clomid is a selective estrogen receptor modulator that binds to estrogen receptors, blocking this hormone's effects –It blocks estrogen from interacting with the pituitary gland.
When the hormone estrogen interacts with the pituitary gland, the male body produces less luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Low levels of LH and FSH result in a decrease in testosterone levels and the ultimate decrease in sperm production.
So, by blocking the interaction between the hormone estrogen and the pituitary gland, Clomid for men increases the production of LH and FSH.
The increased LH triggers the testicles to produce more testosterone. On the other hand, the FSH works on the Sertoli cells, found in the testes, to stimulate sperm production (spermatogenesis).
Who can use Clomid for men?
Clomiphene citrate for men is often recommended for men struggling with infertility.
A man's fertility can be determined through a simple blood test or a semen analysis test.
The blood test determines testosterone levels. This test is best conducted in the morning because this is the time the T levels are at their highest. The semen analysis test, on the other hand, checks the shape, count, mobility, and the overall health of the man's sperm.
So, if these tests determine that a male has fertility issues, Clomid for low testosterone is often recommended to increase fertility.
Urologists often recommend Clomiphene for men at a much lower dosage than they do for women. Although there isn't a universally accepted recommended dosage of this fertility medication, the dosing mainly ranges between 12.5 to 400 milligrams (mg) per day.
However, a recent review by the Asian Journal of Andrology recommends that you start with a lower dosage of 25 mg of Clomid 3 times per week and later increase it to 50 mg once a day.
It's important to consult a fertility specialist or a health care provider on the dosage because a high dose of Clomid can negatively affect the sperm level and motility.
Since sperm take approximately 90-108 days to fully develop before ejaculation, it may take a little longer to see the results of Clomid. So, it's advisable to take the medication for about 3-4 months before trying to get a woman pregnant.
Clomid side effects in men
The most common side effects of Clomid include:
- Hot flashes: When having a hot flash, you may break out in a sweat, experience a more rapid heartbeat, suddenly feel extremely warm, or have a face flush. If hot flashes happen at night, they are called night flashes.
- Headache: Most people also experience headaches when taking Clomid.
- Mood swings: These are characterized by feeling more emotionally sensitive, depressed, or even anxious.
- Nausea: You may feel the inclination to vomit or a feeling of disgust or loathing.
- Blurred vision: This is common when taking clomiphene and is often characterized by seeing flashing lights or floaters.
- Dizziness: You may sometimes feel like you're spinning around or losing balance.
- Bloating and abdominal discomfort
- Weight gain: This may be triggered by stress during treatment, leading to unhealthy eating habits.
If these side effects persist, don't hesitate to contact a health practitioner or a fertility specialist.
How to reduce the side effects of Clomid
Here are the top tips you can adopt to reduce the side effects of Clomid for low testosterone:
- Start on a low dosage and slowly increase it if need be. Doing so helps your body adjust to Clomid medication and allows you to monitor how it reacts.
- If you experience headaches, blurred vision, or dizziness, try taking the pill at night before bed.
- Adopt a healthy diet to reduce bloating, abdominal discomfort, and unhealthy weight gain.
- Always stay hydrated because headaches may sometimes be triggered by dehydration.
- Practice good self-care to counter mood swings. Get enough sleep, eat well, and talk to family and friends.
- Dress lightly to control hot flashes.
When prescribed at the right dosage, Clomid for men can help increase testosterone levels and sperm count in men struggling with infertility.
However, before taking this fertility medication, always consult a fertility specialist for tests to determine the root cause of your low T levels, the severity of the situation, and the ideal treatment options.
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.