If you’re anything like most serious bodybuilders, you’ve probably already heard of Clomid – also known as Clomiphene citrate and Serophene – and its key role in terms of getting a proper post cycle therapy or PCT going after cycling with prohormones and anabolic steroids. It is basically a type of selective estrogen receptor modulator or SERM that works by inhibiting the actions of estrogen hormones in your body.
A Quick Rundown on How Clomid Works
When you use Clomid for PCT, it keeps estrogen in check so your testosterone levels can return to normal again, staving off any adverse side effects that could get triggered sooner or later like increased water retention, which can significantly ruin the gains that you’ve been able to realize, hypertension, episodes of lethargy and confusion, gynecomastia or “bitch tits” as well as bouts of dizziness, headaches and nausea.
The Side Effects of Clomid
While Clomid has become quite an icon in terms of post cycle therapy, there are still some bodybuilders who tend to give this SERM a wide berth due to the side effects that it can set off when used for PCT, which we’ll go over in a bit. However, let me just clarify two things before we do so:
First, akin to all medicines, there is always the likelihood that you will experience side effects when using Clomid because it is designed to induce an effect in the body that it can potentially perceive as something hostile and will fight it off.
Second, taking the ideal doses of this SERM is also crucial. Although Clomid is specifically formulated to inhibit the actions of estrogen to help testosterone hormones catch up and bring back normalcy in the body, not using this SERM properly will not promote the ideal effects that are expected of it.
Now we’ve got that covered, let’s go over the side effects that Clomid is believed to trigger when this SERM is used, particularly among women:
Clomid and Cysts
The cyst that is commonly linked to Clomid use is the corpus luteum cyst. This is because this SERM is originally aimed to induce ovulation among women who are having trouble conceiving.
See, the female ovaries develop follicles in a monthly basis. Besides performing the essential role of releasing an egg during ovulation, these follicles also help churn out progesterone and estrogen hormones to boost a woman’s fertility. When one of these follicles releases an egg, it gets ruptured and now becomes a corpus luteum or “yellow body” in Latin.
However, a corpus luteum isn’t a cyst. It only becomes one when the fluids inside it accumulates after its natural escape opening has already sealed off after releasing an egg during ovulation. These fluids keep on gathering inside it until it expands and develops into a cyst.
What’s really interesting is that a corpus luteum cyst is generally considered as common and harmless because it disappears on its own within two to three menstrual cycles without complications. Although there have been documented cases in which a corpus luteum cyst can cause the ovary to twist and will require surgery, they are extremely rare.
Clomid and Insomnia
For starters, insomnia isn’t listed as one of the more common side effects that can be set off by the use of Clomid, but it is still possible because this SERM works by altering the hormonal levels of the body.
But the thing is it’s very important to keep in mind that although taking Clomid can potentially set off sleeping issues due to the change in the balance of hormones in the body, it is also recommended to assess other possible causes.
These include your stress levels, medical conditions you may be suffering from, eating habits, use of prescription drugs like corticosteroids, stimulants and antidepressants, change in environment and work routine, as well as the consumption of alcohol, nicotine and caffeine.
Clomid and Yeast Infection
Since Clomid works by altering the normal balance of hormones in the body, there is a very small chance that it can promote the onset of yeast infection. However, experts point out that there are also other key factors to take note of that may be causing the problem.
See, a yeast infection is commonly triggered when there aren’t enough acidic lactobacillus bacteria to control the levels of Candida albicans, a naturally occurring type of yeast that lives in the vaginal area. When their numbers spread excessively, they cause sensations that can be anywhere from itching to burning.
Other factors that can cause yeast infections include having immune system issues, uncontrolled diabetes, pregnancy as well as the use of antibiotics that can drastically change the pH levels in the vagina and lessen the numbers of lactobacillus bacteria.
Clomid and Emotional Side Effects
Going through emotional side effects is perhaps the most common listed item when it comes to the things that you can experience when using Clomid. This is basically caused by the sudden change in hormonal levels that this SERM is capable of promoting in the body. These emotional side effects often manifest in mood swings and increased irritability. It is even possible that you can experience depression while using Clomid.
It is important to remember, though, that while it’s possible that you can experience emotional side effects when you use Clomid, not all people who used this SERM report that they’ve encountered this issue.
Clomid and Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are not just the most common symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, but also one of the key side effects of Clomid use. They are characterized by increased sweating, flushing and a more prominent feeling of heat. Now while it isn’t clear what exactly triggers hot flashes, medical experts hypothesize that it may be due to circulatory changes that women go through as they get older.
It is assumed that Clomid use can cause hot flashes because of its ability to stimulate the release of the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). The brain thinks that the estrogen levels in the body are getting way below normal and induces bouts of menopause, which lead to hot flashes.
Clomid and Depression
Like we’ve touched on earlier, the sudden change in hormonal levels that Clomid is capable of promoting in the body can set off unexpected emotional setbacks that can be anywhere from mood swings and increased irritability to episodes of depression. This side effect is even nicknamed as “the crazies” when using this SERM.
But the thing is the body usually goes through this problem when it is still leveling out its hormonal levels. As soon as your hormones are at their normal levels again, this side effect usually goes away on its own.
Clomid and Cramps
As a fertility drug, Clomid is designed to stimulate the ovaries to produce as much follicles as they can to boost the chances of conceiving.
When a woman ovulates on her own, it is usually the result of a single ovary doing its thing. However, Clomid stimulates both ovaries to produce follicles at the same time to increase the chances that an egg will be released. This stimulation of both ovaries at the same time is seen as the main reason why using Clomid can bring about episodes of cramping.
Clomid and Constipation
One of the more prominent effects of taking Clomid is helping boost the function of the ovaries so that they can produce more follicles, which turn into corpus luteum along the way, and release better egg cells. Interestingly, the development of corpus luteum involves the release of more progesterone in the body.
A key function of progesterone is easing up the overall function of the digestive system, particularly slowing down the speed that digested food matter reaches the colon. This is to ensure that the fetus is suitably getting all the nutrients it needs if ever a pregnancy ensues.
However, this slowing down in the digestive function causes the over-dehydration of digested food matter before it is released from the body, which is also called constipation.
Clomid and Acne
Acne, particularly cyclic acne, is a common side effect of Clomid use because it causes a surge of hormones when it is absorbed by the body. This hormonal imbalance normally results to upsets in the functions of sebaceous glands and hair follicles that produce and release oil. Excessive oil levels are considered as a key cause of acne.
Clomid and Rash
Some people who use Clomid tend to suffer from rashes because their bodies process the drug longer than it’s supposed to. If this SERM stays in the system for more than 60 days, there is a possibility that the body experiences indications that are similar to the ones that it goes through during an allergic reaction.
These indications include itching, hives and rashes. Now while there are also reports of people experiencing swelling of the tongue, lips, face and mouth, breathing difficulties as well as tightness in the chest when using Clomid because of this reaction, medical experts stress that they are extremely rare.
Clomid and Joint Pain
A key effect of Clomid in the body when taken is altering the balance of hormones, which can trigger joint pains because there is a possibility that the amount of synovial fluid found in the cavities of the joints will be unnaturally reduced.
It is recommended that starting a regular walking routine is ideal to stimulate the body to replenish its synovial fluid levels. This side effect can be expected to disappear as soon as the hormonal levels in the system level out.
Clomid and Birth Defects
Now while it has been seen in various medical tests that the use of Clomid can possibly lead to birth defects like cleft lip and palate, club foot, intestinal abnormalities, delayed child development and even autism, they also revealed that these issues were found in women who used this drug on their own and without professional medical supervision.
Make it a point to consult with your doctor first before even thinking about using Clomid to significantly minimize or prevent these birth defects from happening.
Clomid and Weight Gain
Weight gain isn’t one of the more prominent side effects of Clomid, but medical experts say that it is still possible. It may be the result of the body being overstimulated by the drug and altering the hormonal balance more than it should.
Bloating and increased retention of water weight are considered as the most common signs that that there’s an overstimulation of this SERM in your body. Keep in mind to consult with your doctor if these issues are already making you uncomfortable.
Clomid and Ovulation
It isn’t uncommon that your ovulation levels will increase when you use Clomid. This is because this drug is specifically formulated to set off this effect in the body. What’s really interesting is this SERM may even make a woman so fertile that the possibility of conceiving twins is high.
Clomid and Libido
Unlike what a lot of people mistakenly believe, there are actually no studies that prove Clomid can kill the libido when you use it. But the thing is each individual can experience varying effects on his or her sex drive when taking Clomid. It can either become more intense or taper off depending how your body responds to the drug when you use it.
Clomiphene and Hypogonadism
Based on the results of a study published in PubMed, men who took Clomid as a treatment for infertility for more than a year showed significant positive changes in their mean gonadotropin and testosterone measurements. It was also specified in the study that there were no major side effects recorded during the same.
Clomid and Fertility
Like we’ve discussed earlier, using Clomid doesn’t have a negative effect in terms of fertility in both men and women, but it’s rather the opposite. You will experience a boost in your fertility levels because this is what this drug is designed to do before it was even used for post cycle therapy or PCT in bodybuilding.