Clomid and Insomnia

Dominique W. Brooks
Using Clomid can cause insomnia in some women.
Using Clomid can cause insomnia in some women.

Many different factors can contribute to sleep problems, and women who are dealing with infertility can find getting enough rest challenging. If you are struggling with insomnia and infertility treatments, you may want to ask your doctor about the association between Clomid and insomnia. 

What Is Clomid?

Clomid, which is also known as clomiphene citrate, is commonly prescribed by obstetricians and other fertility specialists to manage ovulatory disorders in women who want to get pregnant. This medication increases the levels of hormones that work together to release an egg from the ovary. The hormones are:

  • Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH): Stimulates the growth of eggs in the ovaries
  • Luteinizing hormone (LH): Causes the release of eggs from the ovaries

Both of these hormones are released from the pituitary gland and both stop being produced after the release of an egg. Clomid works to keep estrogen from stopping the release of FSH and LH after a normal ovulation; the pituitary gland continues to release the two hormones which increase the likelihood of egg production and release.

Side Effects

Like all medications, Clomid is associated with some side effects – many of which are mild and which resolve after discontinuation of the treatment. Some of the most common side effects include:

  • Ovarian enlargement
  • Hot flashes
  • Pain in the abdomen or pelvis
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Breast discomfort
  • Vision problems

Some of the less common side effects associated with Clomid includes fatigue, lightheadedness, and insomnia; these symptoms occurred in less than 1% of patients in clinical trials.

Insomnia and Clomid

While insomnia is one of the less common side effects of Clomid, this condition can be very bothersome and disruptive when it does happen. Insomnia occurs when you have difficulties with either falling asleep or staying asleep. You can have insomnia that is caused by no specific physical or mental condition, or insomnia can be caused by health conditions or medications. Many women have issues with insomnia due to hormone fluctuations throughout their lives. Since Clomid works by causing alterations in your normal hormone levels, Clomid can led to insomnia in some women.

Determining the Cause

If you develop insomnia while taking Clomid, you need to determine the cause of your sleep issues because it is not wise to assume that Clomid is the only possible cause. Insomnia can be caused by stress as well, and since infertility treatments may be stressful in themselves, your sleep problems may be associated with your life situation and not only with your medication.

No matter what might be the cause, you should speak with your physician about your concerns. The doctor will want to complete a physical examination and take a medical history. If you are taking Clomid and your physician cannot find any other causes for your insomnia, the physician may decide that your insomnia is likely caused by your Clomid treatment.

Management of Insomnia Associated with Clomid

The association between Clomid and insomnia does not mean that you need to immediately stop taking the infertility medication. Management of insomnia caused by Clomid can be alleviated in some women by altering the time that you take the medication. Taking Clomid later in the evening may contribute to problems with insomnia. However, taking the medications earlier in the day has eased insomnia complaints in some anecdotal reports by some women patients.

You can try to make other adjustments in your sleep regimen before discontinuing the medication as well. Making improvements in your sleep hygiene can also improve your ability to sleep.

  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol before bedtime
  • Avoid large meals before bedtime
  • Do not exercise less than two hours before bedtime
  • Use the bed exclusively for sleeping and sex; do not read or watch television in bed
  • Go to bed the same time each night

These types of changes may alleviate your sleeping issues sufficiently for you to manage the symptoms. Your doctor probably would recommend lifestyle changes before prescribing any medications for insomnia because those can have additional side effects as well.

For other women, the problems with Clomid and insomnia may not be serious enough to interfere with their infertility treatments. You may decide to continue the therapy—even with the lack of sleep—especially if it seems that you may have some success with this treatment.

It is good for you to be aware of the association between insomnia and Clomid so that you can take appropriate measures if you develop the condition while on Clomid.

Clomid and Insomnia