Written by Aparna Hari
In recent times, the age limit for women to have children has slowly and steadily increased. Over the last few years, society has accepted women choosing to have children at a later age and science has come a long way to support the same. There are several tests and treatments to help older women to have children. One such test is the Clomid Challenge Test
When a woman who is yet to have children or wants to have more, reaches 30 years of age or more, the biggest concern is her ovarian reserve. It is common knowledge that a woman’s fertility starts decreasing sharply when she nears 35 years of age. You can measure your ovarian reserve with a Clomiphene Citrate Challenge Test (CCCT).
In This Article
A Clomiphene Citrate Challenge Test also known as Clomid Challenge Test or CCCT is a blood test to determine a woman’s fertility. It helps to know more about the health of her eggs and ovaries. A CCCT enables fertility doctors to know how many eggs a woman’s ovaries contain.
A woman’s ovaries contain a limited number of eggs. Each egg is shed every menstrual cycle. Ovarian reserve is the quantity of eggs left in the ovaries. This reserve starts declining with age. In some cases, it could also decline due to genetics or other health reasons.
Based on Systematic Review done by Researchgate, CCCT can determine how many eggs you have left in your ovarian reserve. No tests can determine the exact number of eggs. All fertility tests including the CCCT can only estimate the ovarian reserve to an extent. If the result indicates your ovarian reserve is low and you are having trouble conceiving, you may opt for fertility treatments.
Let’s first understand how this CCCT works exactly.
If you are over the age of 35 or have been unsuccessful in your attempts of conceiving, you can check your ovarian reserve. Check with your fertility doctor first and discuss the need for and when to take the test. They can guide you as per your needs.
The Clomid Challenge Test is a blood test. The technician will draw your blood samples to carry out the test. The blood will be checked for FSH and estradiol levels. Some doctors may even order a transvaginal ultrasound to have a better picture of your ovarian reserve.
The Clomiphene challenge test is usually taken at two different times-once on the 5th day of the menstrual cycle and again on the 10th day.
You will be given 100mg of Clomid from day 5 to day 9 of your cycle, to check how much effect the Clomid has on your FSH levels when measured on day 10.
Clomiphene may cause your ovaries to release more than 2 eggs at a time. As a result, the chances of conceiving twins increase.
Clomiphene also makes your body produce more FSH hormones. An increase in FSH levels improves your chances of growing an ovarian follicle, which can then trigger ovulation. Ovulation is when the egg is released and the prime time for fertilization.
For any blood test you take, the results will vary from clinic to clinic. This is why each of these clinics mentions the referral range next to each finding. So, once you get back your CCCT results, you need to check with your doctor instead of jumping to conclusions about your fertility or future possibilities of conceiving.
If your FSH levels are below 10IU/L, it is considered to be within the normal range. The range applies to both day 3 and day 10 after taking Clomid for about 5 days. If the FSH levels are above 10 IU/ L, it indicates a possibility of diminished reserves in your ovaries.
When the CCCT results are poor, without the age factor, it could mean:
Though the CCCT can help you understand more about your ovarian reserve it cannot determine the quality of the eggs left in the ovaries. Many fertility clinics do not take a chance when the CCCT tests are not favorable.
They would suggest you go in for fertility treatment with donor eggs. The reason is, they are not sure about the quality of the eggs or how healthy the forming embryo will be. Since the risk of a miscarriage is high when your CCCT test results are low, they will try to avoid the risk.
[Read : Getting Pregnant After Miscarriage]
Age affects fertility in both men and women. If one or both partners are above the age of 35 or if you have been trying to conceive for over a year, you should consult a fertility specialist.
Many couples face different fertility issues. While some need just a little assistance, some may need fertility treatment. It is advisable to consult a well-qualified specialist if you are having trouble conceiving.
Just because your Clomid Challenge test results are low, does not mean you cannot conceive naturally. Similarly, if your CCCT test results are high, there is no guarantee that you can conceive naturally and easily. Many women with high ovarian reserve need assistance to conceive and many women with low reserve or at a higher age, conceive naturally without any assistance.
[Read : Why I Delayed My Pregnancy To 30]
You can expect to start ovulating about 5 to 10 days after your last dosage of Clomid. So, for example, if you have taken clomid medications between day 3 and day 7 of your cycle, ovulation can occur at any time between days 10 and days 16 of the cycle.
Clomid can make your ovaries release about 2 or 3 eggs at a time. Do remember that this medication’s effects will last only during the cycle that you take it. In cycles that you don’t take this medication, you will release only one egg.
If your menstrual cycle is regular and you are not too old, there is a 30% – 40% chance for the intake of Clomiphene to result in a pregnancy.
Yes. Clomiphene can result in twin pregnancy 5% – 12% of the time. This is because the drug results in the releasing of two or three eggs during the cycle. If more than one eggs get fertilized, you can expect twin or multiple gestations.
Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.
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