This blog post will give us answers to the question, “Can Clomid cause anxiety?” We will gain insights into why Clomid causes anxiety and understand ways to cope with such concerns.
Before getting into Clomid-related anxiety, let us understand what Clomid is.
Clomid (generic name, clomiphene citrate) is a drug used to improve ovulation for increasing the likelihood of pregnancy in women. It is used primarily for women with ovulatory dysfunction or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It is prescribed after other potential sources of infertility have been eliminated. It is a non-steroidal drug and is started after a series of evaluations for women and their sperm donors.
Can Clomid Cause Anxiety?
Yes, Clomid can cause anxiety, with a few women experiencing even panic attacks. Apart from anxiety, Clomid has other emotional side-effects, such as:
- Sleep difficulties, such as insomnia and frequently waking up during the night;
- Excessive shifts in mood;
- PMS-like symptoms
These side-effects are commonly referred to as “Clomid Crazies.”
Clomid is also prescribed for men with infertility concerns and whose testosterone levels are low. Several causes for male infertility are observed, including:
- Excessive weight or obesity;
- Genetic disorders like microdeletion syndrome;
- Treatment for cancer, including chemotherapy and radiation;
- Hormonal imbalance;
- Testicle injury;
- Excessive use of alcohol, cigarettes, or anabolic steroids;
- Health conditions like diabetes; and
- Age factors
Why Does Clomid Cause Anxiety?
Clomid causes anxiety and other emotional side-effects because the drug makes your body think that the current estrogen levels are inadequate when that is not the case. It happens because Clomid is a selective estrogen receptor modulator, and so blocks some estrogen receptors.
Consequently, your body secretes Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) in response to the perceived inadequacy of estrogen. High levels of the former hormone stimulate the multiple egg follicles produced due to high levels of FSH.
Regarding psychological effects, low levels of estrogen cause depressive moods, while high levels lead to anxiety. In some women, the fluctuations in the hormone levels (i.e., the change in itself and not the levels) cause mood shifts. Typically, these women suffer from the premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Therefore, Clomid causes anxiety by making your body think that there are hormone changes. The exact level (high or low) is different for every individual. What matters is what your body perceives as the baseline. If the levels are lower or higher than this standard, there can be changes in your mood. As Clomid impacts the way your body perceives estrogen levels, you may experience anxiety or depression.
Unsurprisingly, the stress that comes with in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment due to medications, doctor appointments, and injections can lead to depression and anxiety.
The unpredictability of the result of this treatment is likely to cause intense anxiety in most women. Sometimes, they have to go through the IVF cycle multiple times, increasing stress and anxiety.
Women with fertility and pregnancy concerns are said to have depression and anxiety with the same intensity as women with other health problems like cancer, HIV, or cardiovascular conditions. Additionally, men also face emotional issues concerning infertility. They are likely to have depression, anxiety, and associated self-esteem problems.
However, as infertility and pregnancy complications are not perceived as serious concerns, it is challenging for others to recognize and comprehend the issue. People with such difficulties feel withdrawn, misunderstood, and isolated, which are signs of depression.
Infertility in itself can be a stressor, and stress from daily life can have an impact on the effects of Clomid. Other stressors in life can worsen the side-effects caused by Clomid. If you are undergoing progesterone therapy along with Clomid, it may worsen your depression and anxiety, as fatigue and depressed mood are common side-effects of taking progesterone.
Ways to Cope with Anxiety from Clomid
Now that you know the causes of anxiety due to Clomid, let us outline ways to manage it. Following is a list of suggestions for coping with anxiety from Clomid:
- Understand that it is the drug and not you;
- Remember the effect is temporary;
- Practice self-care;
- Tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or anxiety;
- Get support;
- Have realistic expectations about the duration of the symptoms;
- Postpone any foreseeable stressors; and
- Get treatment
Understand that it is the drug and not you
Understanding that the drugs, and not you, cause the mood fluctuations can help you deal with the Clomid Crazies in a much better way. Remind yourself that it is temporary and will get better with time.
Remember the effect is temporary
You could quickly start feeling like the effects will last forever. Ensure that you remind yourself that the difficulty is indeed temporary, and you will go back to feeling normal by the next cycle.
Treat this side-effect the way you would any health condition. Make sure you take time off to rest and rejuvenate. Engage in self-care activities by taking care of your physical and mental health. Pursue activities that bring joy to you, ensure you get adequate sleep and nutrition, and try exercising regularly.
People tend to brush off emotional problems, and that is not healthy. Treat your psychological difficulties, just the way you treat physical conditions.
Tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or anxiety
Those people with a history of anxiety or depression are more susceptible to experiencing Clomid Crazies than other individuals. It is crucial to convey to the doctor of any such record, as the side-effects could be severe for you. So, they may provide other treatments to smoothen the process.
You must have support from friends and family, which can be incredibly helpful during this challenging process. Talk about your problems at least to one or two people. It is common for women with fertility and pregnancy concerns to feel withdrawn and isolated, and such feelings are typically self-inflicted. You will be surprised to find out how understanding and supportive friends and family turn out to be if you were to open up to them.
Ensure you spend quality time with close ones during the waiting period to distract you from your preoccupations with the pregnancy. So, go out, enjoy your life, and surround yourself with people who love and care about you.
It is common and understandable to drown in your thoughts of fertility and pregnancy. It can become an all-consuming feeling that does not enable you to do anything else. Remind yourself that to cope with the anxiety, you need to do whatever it takes to go on with life.
Have realistic expectations about the duration of the symptoms
You could experience the shifts in the mood even after you have stopped consuming the medication. Sometimes, you experience mood shifts only after you finish your course. Even though the drug is consumed actively only for five days in the IVF cycle, the effects could last for the entire process. However, the next cycle is likely to be normal.
Postpone any foreseeable stressors
Anything likely to cause you stress, such as an important meeting with your supervisor, should be postponed after your first Clomid cycle. Be mindful of your triggers and ensure that any source of stress should be rescheduled.
The recommended course of action to deal with anxiety is to seek professional help. Mental health professionals will provide therapeutic interventions, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) combined with antidepressants and anxiolytics (anti-anxiety pills).
It is not that you will need therapy just for the anxiety caused by Clomid. It is a good idea to get professional help during your IVF process in general.
Your therapist will help you to cope with the Clomid Crazies and also teach you adaptive coping mechanisms to deal with the stress of infertility and conception. Studies have shown that those who seek psychological treatment like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mind/body interventions (MBI), stress management, or hypnosis tend to have more than 55% pregnancy rates than those who do not.
Contrary to popular belief, anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants are safe to consume by individuals trying to conceive or are pregnant. The risks of untreated depression and anxiety are more than any possible risks that come with medications.
It is normal to feel overwhelmed during these times. Remind yourself that it is okay to seek help as it can make these emotions seem much more manageable with professional guidance.
BetterHelp: A Better Alternative
Those who are seeking therapy online may also be interested in BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers plenty of formats of therapy, ranging from live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions. In addition, unlimited messaging through texting, audio messages and even video messages are available here.
BetterHelp also offers couples therapy and therapy for teenagers in its platform. Furthermore, group sessions can also be found in this platform, covering more than twenty different topics related to mental health and mental illness. The pricing of BetterHelp is also pretty cost-effective, especially considering the fact that the platform offers financial aid to most users.
This blog post helped us answer the question, “Can Clomid cause anxiety?” We understood that it causes anxiety and how so. Finally, we outlined ways to cope with anxiety caused by Clomid.
Frequently Asked Questions: Can Clomid Cause Anxiety?
What do you feel when you consume Clomid?
When you consume Clomid, you may experience certain side-effects like:
There is also an increased likelihood of giving birth to twins or triplets due to ovary stimulation.
Can fertility drugs lead to anxiety?
Yes, it is common for fertility drugs to lead to anxiety and depression. Women with a history of depression or anxiety are likely to develop such conditions while getting treated for infertility. Moreover, infertility in itself can be a source of stress, leading to depression and anxiety.
What is the duration of Clomid side-effects?
The side-effects concerning Clomid consultation typically last until a few days or weeks after termination of treatment. Sometimes, alterations in the vision may be permanent.
Are repeat cycles required for Clomid?
Yes, repeat cycles are typically required for Clomid. If the drug is successful and causes ovulation, fertility chances increase to about 10%, mandating repeat cycles for conception. Your doctor will closely monitor these cycles.
What is the half-life of Clomid?
The half-life of Clomid is about five days, although there are reports of Clomid to stay in your body and can be found in your feces for six weeks.
What effects does infertility have on men?
Men with male factor infertility experience unpleasant emotions, such as a sense of loss and low self-esteem, owing to the stigma surrounding infertility. It is reported that men with infertility concerns are more likely to feel such unpleasant emotions than those with infertile partners or in relationships where the source of infertility is indeterminable.
Does Clomid have an impact on sleep?
Yes, Clomid does have an impact on sleep. It causes sleep difficulties, such as insomnia and frequently waking up during the night. Sleep difficulties are also a part of “Clomid Crazies.”
Does Clomid cause weight gain?
Yes, Clomid can cause weight gain, albeit mostly temporarily. Ensure that you regulate your diet. Clomid causes bloating and water retention, which can cause temporary weight gain. However, Clomid also increases stress, which could make you overeat to cope with the stress. Weight gain from overeating could stay even after you stop taking Clomid.