Clomid for testosterone optimization

The use of the medication Clomiphene or “Clomid” as it is more widely known, is not yet a well-known treatment for testosterone optimization. However, Clomid does have a number of advantages over testosterone that should be discussed with your doctor. This blog explores Clomid for testosterone optimization; including what it is, how it works, side effects, advantages over testosterone and who this medication is and isn’t for. 

1. What is clomiphene?

Clomiphene, more commonly referred to by its brand name Clomid, is a medication that was approved by the FDA following successful clinical trials in 1967. It has been used for a long time to treat infertility in women. More recently, it has come into use to treat infertility as well as to increase testosterone levels in men.

2. How does Clomid work?

Clomid is taken as a pill. In both women and men, it works at the level of the pituitary gland which is a primary controller of hormone production in the body. In men, Clomid causes the pituitary gland to increase the hormonal signals to the testicles to increase testosterone and sperm production.

3. What are the risks of using Clomid?

Because Clomid has been in use for so long, it is well known to be safe and effective.  However, as with any drug, there are occasional side effects that have been seen with its use. Most of these are a result of the desired effect of increased testosterone levels and include irritability, acne, and acceleration of prostate cancer growth if prostate cancer is already present. Tenderness of the pectoral muscles and very rarely, changes in vision caused by swelling of the pituitary gland, have been reported. Clomid commonly increases the level of estrogen in the body, along with testosterone, although usually not to a degree that causes concern. An increased level of estrogen in men can produce decreased libido but treatment with the estrogen-blocking drug Anastrazole can be used along with Clomid if that becomes an issue.

4. What is the advantage of using Clomid over testosterone?

I have found Clomid to be very effective and safe for my patients and I believe it has a number of advantages over testosterone. Testosterone cannot be taken as a pill.  It needs to be applied topically, injected into the muscle, or inserted under the skin as testosterone pellets. All of these methods are either less convenient or more invasive than taking a Clomid tablet.  

Its main advantage over testosterone, in my opinion, is the fact that while long-term use of testosterone causes testicular atrophy and decreased natural testosterone production (which may become permanent), Clomid increases natural testosterone production and does not cause these unwanted long-term effects.  For all of these reasons, Clomid has become my first choice for increasing and optimizing testosterone levels in most of my patients.

5. Who is Clomid for/not for?

Clomid works very well for men wishing to increase their testosterone levels. Its use in men is considered off-label.  The use of Clomid is not recommended for men who either have prostate cancer or who have a history of prostate cancer because increasing testosterone levels can accelerate prostate cancer growth. Clomid may not be effective for men who have previously been on long-term testosterone replacement therapy as their own natural testosterone production may have been permanently impaired by testosterone use. Clomid should not be used by anyone who is allergic to it or has had significant side effects from it in the past.

6. Is Clomid covered by health insurance?

Because the use of Clomid in men is considered off-label at this time, most health insurance plans will not cover Clomid for male patients.  The good news is that Clomid is inexpensive, costing, on average, around $10 per month.  As with any medication I prescribe, I enjoy teaching my patients how to find the best price for Clomid at local pharmacies.

7. How can I use Clomid?

If you are interested in optimizing your testosterone levels, I am happy to schedule a free initial consultation at The Prime Clinic to discuss your needs and come up with a personalized treatment plan. You may request an appointment here.