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Clomiphene Citrate Side Effects

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Clomiphene Citrate Side Effects
Clomiphene citrate can help women to conceive children. Photo Credit pregnant woman image by Valentin Mosichev from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Women who need help to become pregnant may use clomiphene citrate with a prescription from their doctors. The medication, Drugs.com reports, helps stimulate ovulation by releasing the correct hormones in sufficient levels. Women who do not have proper levels of the hormones needed for ovulation and pregnancy may be able to get pregnant with the help of clomiphene citrate, Drugs.com indicates.


A woman taking clomiphene citrate may experience unusual bleeding from the uterus or vagina. Drugs.com recommends talking with a doctor if bleeding from the uterus occurs. The MedlinePlus website categorizes unusual bleeding from the vagina as a non-serious side effect that should not cause concern. The website indicates that physicians expect such bleeding to end without medical help but recommends telling the doctor if the bleeding appears severe or doesn't end.

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

Drugs.com reports that women who use clomiphene citrate may develop ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, or OHSS, because of the drug. OHSS is the most serious potential side effect of the medication because it can cause death. The syndrome may exhibit such symptoms as vomiting, nausea, unintentional weight gain, edema or swelling of the legs and hands, and shortness of breath. Women should contact their physicians immediately or go to the nearest hospital's emergency room if they experience any of these symptoms associated with OHSS as a side effect of clomiphene citrate, warns Drugs.com.

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Stomach Distress

The use of clomiphene citrate also may produce distress in a woman's stomach or intestines. She may feel sick to her stomach or nauseous. This may induce her to vomit. The medication also can cause women to have loose stools. Diarrhea can occur, inducing cramps in the abdominal region. Drugs.com reports these as serious side effects of taking clomiphene citrate that require notification of a physician for help.

Breast Problems

MedlinePlus states that a woman taking clomiphene citrate may develop discomfort in her breasts. This may appear as a feeling of tenderness in either breast. While MedlinePlus reports breast discomfort as a non-serious side effect of clomiphene citrate that is expected to cease on its own, Drugs.com recommends that women call their physicians about any breast problems that develop.

Ovarian Enlargement

The most common side effect of clomiphene citrate reported by RxList.com in clinical trials was the enlargement of the ovaries. This serious side effect may cause a woman to experience such symptoms as swelling and pain in the pelvic area or the abdomen. She may feel it as pressure or tenderness, Drugs.com reports. RxList recommends contacting the doctor and asking about these side effects if they occur.

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author image Carole Anne Tomlinson
Carole Anne Tomlinson is a registered nurse with experience in rehabilitation, nutrition, chemical dependency, diabetes and health problems related to the elderly. Tomlinson holds a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice and is presently working on her master's degree in nursing. Her screenplays have been viewed by Merchant Ivory, Angela Lansbury and Steven King's associates.
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