Clomid (Clomiphene Citrate) is a powerfully effective anti-estrogen officially classified as a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM). In many ways, it is very similar to another popular SERM in Nolvadex (Tamoxifen Citrate). Clomid first gained worldwide attention in the early 1970’s as a strong fertility aid and is still used for that purpose today. It is also one of the most commonly used SERM’s by anabolic steroid users. No, it is not an anabolic steroid but can be used to combat estrogenic side effects sometimes caused by anabolic steroids. It can also be used as a Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) medication in order to stimulate suppressed testosterone production due to anabolic steroid use. PCT use of Clomid is the most common purpose and most beneficial point of use for the anabolic steroid user.
Clomiphene Citrate is a SERM that is specifically used as a fertility aid due to its ability to enhance the release of gonadotropins. Clomid has the ability to oppose the negative feedback of estrogens on the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Ovarian-Axis. This will increase the release of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) significantly. By increasing gonadotropin release, this can lead to the egg being released, thereby increasing the chance of conception.
Clomid also carries strong anti-estrogen properties that could be used therapeutically, but its anti-estrogen properties are most commonly associated with anabolic steroid use. Testosterone and many testosterone derived steroids have the ability to convert to estrogen through testosterone’s interaction with the aromatase enzyme. As estrogen levels rise, this can lead to gynecomastia and excess water retention. Heavy water retention can also promote high blood pressure. By supplementing with Clomid during anabolic steroid use, the SERM will bind to the estrogen receptors, therefore inhibiting the estrogen hormone from binding. This can be very useful in combating gynecomastia, as when Clomid binds to the receptor it prevents estrogen from stimulating the mammary tissue. It can also have a positive impact on water retention, but as it won’t actively reduce serum estrogen levels it’s sometimes not enough.
Clomid also possess functioning traits that are beneficial to the anabolic steroid user post anabolic steroid use. Specifically we’re referring to Post Cycle Therapy (PCT). In men, Clomid also has the ability to stimulate the pituitary to release more LH and FSH, which will in turn stimulate enhanced natural testosterone production. This is extremely beneficial to the anabolic steroid user post cycle as natural testosterone levels will be very low due to suppression caused by anabolic steroid use.
In a therapeutic setting as a fertility aid, the effects of Clomid are simple. The woman is having difficulty becoming pregnant, Clomid enhances the chance of conception and pregnancy occurs. It doesn’t always work and we’ll look at the process in the administration section, but it will greatly increase the odds of conception and is fairly successful.
As an anti-estrogen for on cycle steroid use, Clomid is fairly effective at staving off gynecomastia. It will not reduce estrogen levels or inhibit the aromatization process, but in many cases, binding to the receptors is enough protection for many men. In fact, while there are stronger protective agents, many men would be surprised as to how well a SERM like Clomid can work if they would give it a chance. More importantly, when using Clomid for this purpose it can also have a positive impact on cholesterol levels. While an anti-estrogen, Clomid actually acts as estrogen in the liver, which in turn will promote healthier cholesterol levels. This can be very beneficial to the anabolic steroid user as anabolic steroid use is notorious for promoting unhealthy cholesterol levels.
For many men, especially hardcore anabolic steroid users, Clomid is not enough for estrogenic protection. In this case, an Aromatase Inhibitor (AI) like Arimidex (Anastrozole) or Femara (Letrozole) will be needed. AI’s actively inhibit the aromatase process and will see serum estrogen levels reduced. By far they are the most effective at combating gynecomastia and will have more success in combating water retention. In fact, SERM’s like Clomid often do very little to combat water retention. However, in many cases, many performance athletes would do a better job controlling water retention if they did a better job controlling their diet. In off-season bulking plans this requires excess calories to grow. However, many take it too far, especially carbohydrate consumptions, and this will cause you to hold water with or without anabolic steroid use. Add in aromatizing steroids to the equation and water retention will be even greater. Further, AI’s while effective will have a negative impact on cholesterol, which leads us to only one sane conclusion. Control your diet and if you can control gynecomastia with a SERM like Clomid it should be your first choice.
Then we’re left with the effects of Clomid as they pertain to PCT. When we supplement with anabolic steroids, this will suppress natural testosterone production. The rate of suppression will be dependent on the steroids being used and to a degree the total dosing, but it will generally be substantial. For this reason, most men will always include exogenous testosterone in their steroid cycles. In fact, it’s not uncommon for it to be the only steroid used. This will protect the individual from a low testosterone condition while on cycle. Unfortunately, once steroid use comes to an end natural testosterone levels will be very low. Natural testosterone production will begin again on its own, but it will take a significant amount of time for levels to reach their previous high state. In fact, total recovery can take months to even a year. Further, natural testosterone recovery is dependent on no prior low testosterone condition existing and assumes that no severe damage was done to the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular-Axis (HPTA) through improper anabolic steroid use.
Due to natural testosterone levels being low post cycle, most men are encouraged to implement a PCT program. This will stimulate natural testosterone production greatly and shorten the total recovery time. It will not return your levels to normal on its own; there is no PCT plan on earth that can do this. However, a solid PCT plan will ensure you have enough testosterone for proper bodily function while your levels continue to naturally rise. Clomid is an excellent choice for this purpose and one of the most commonly used PCT medications. Highly successful PCT programs will often include Clomid and Nolvadex as well as the powerful peptide hormone HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin).
Those who forgo Clomid therapy post cycle or any type of PCT plan and are going to be off cycle for an extended period of time will rest in a low testosterone condition for an extended period of time. Not only is this an extremely unhealthy state, it can come with all the traditional low testosterone symptoms. Many will find cortisol levels greatly increase as testosterone levels are low, and as a result, body fat levels go up and strength and muscle mass decrease. If you’re going to be off cycle for an extended period of time, 8 weeks or more there is no reason for forgoing a PCT program. If you are going to be off cycle for less than 8 weeks or bridging with a low dose of exogenous testosterone, which is very common in hardcore bodybuilding circles, this is the only time a PCT would be counterproductive.
Clomid is one of the most well-tolerated SERM’s and anti-estrogens on the market, and this applies to both men and women. While it carries a very high threshold of toleration, side effects of Clomid do exist and are possible. However, “possible” is the key word and a very important one. Anytime anabolic steroids are discussed as well as non-steroidal items used by anabolic steroid users, many seem to enjoy implying side effects are assured. This is not the case; in fact, most should be able to use Clomid side effect free.
When it comes to the possible side effects of Clomid, we will find most are fairly rare. Some women who have used the SERM as a fertility aid have experienced ovarian enlargement, but again this is very rare. Other possible side effects of Clomid use include:
The side effects of Clomid are also well noted for including possible visual disturbances. Data shows that approximately 1.5% of all those who use Clomid may experience some type of visual disturbance normally in the form of blurred or hazy vision. If this occurs, use should be discontinued and alternative medications should be examined. In most all cases, once use is discontinued vision will shortly return to normal. However, there have been a few reported cases over the years of visual disturbances that did not remedy post discontinuation. Normally, such cases have been linked to long term and extremely high dose use. Again, if visual disturbances occur, discontinue use immediately and choose another SERM to meet your needs.
A final note on the side effects of Clomid, some may experience acne. This appears to be most common when the SERM is used as part of a PCT program. In this case, it’s not really the SERM that’s causing the issue but rather the high influx of natural testosterone that is now being produced. Most should not have an issue, but those who are already genetically sensitive to acne may find a few pimples appear on their back, shoulders or chest.
For the purpose of fertility aid, Clomid doses will normally be at 50mg per day. The process is very simple; five days into the menstrual cycle a daily 50mg dose is administered every day once a day for five straight days. If this doesn’t result in conception, the dose is sometimes increased to 100mg per day. This cycle will be repeated 5-6 times over the course of the woman’s menstrual cycles until pregnant. If conception does not occur after 5-6 cycles of therapy, alternative treatments will need to be examined.
For the anabolic steroid user, standard Clomid doses for on cycle estrogenic protection will normally be 50mg per day throughout the duration of the cycle. If this doesn’t do the trick it’s unlikely any amount of Clomid will work. If this does not provide the protection you need, keep in mind many have reported greater success with the SERM Nolvadex for on cycle protection. However, you may very well need an AI like Arimidex.
Then we’re left with PCT Clomid use. Standard PCT Clomid doses will normally start at 100-150mg per day for 1-2 weeks. From here the dose will drop to 50-100mg per day for 1-2 weeks and finish with 1-2 weeks at 50mg per day. Total Clomid therapy should last 4-6 weeks, so dosing should be based and considered on that total schedule. Most will also be far more successful in their PCT recovery by including Nolvadex and HCG. Timing is also important when planning your Clomid PCT use, and this timing factor will vary depending on the inclusion of HCG:
Clomid is an excellent SERM and for years there has been an ongoing debate among anabolic steroid users as to which SERM is better, Clomid or Nolvadex. For the purpose of on cycle gynecomastia protection either one can work. Some have reported that Nolvadex tends to do a better job, but you may need to try both at different times to make an accurate assessment. Then we have PCT use, and both are equally effective and important. Many loudly claim Nolvadex is a far superior SERM for PCT purposes; however, there is a common problem with this statement. Most who use Clomid don’t use enough. On a milligram for milligram basis Nolvadex is stronger, so if you don’t plan a Clomid dose to match Nolvadex you’re going to be disappointed in the Clomid. Learn and understand the SERM’s and various items before you use them. Understand proper dosing protocols and you’ll get the most out of Clomid and any SERM you use.