J Fam Plann Reprod Health Care 38:48-52 doi:10.1136/jfprhc-2011-0103
  • Review

Ovulation induction with clomifene: a primary care perspective

  1. Alison Murdoch2
  1. 1General Practitioner and Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer, Institute of Health & Society, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  2. 2Consultant in Reproductive Medicine and Head of Department, Newcastle Fertility Centre at LIFE, BioScience Centre, International Centre for Life, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Scott Wilkes, Institute of Health & Society, Newcastle University, Baddiley-Clark Building, Richardson Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4AX, UK; scott.wilkes{at}
  • Received 14 March 2011
  • Accepted 30 June 2011
  • Published Online First 7 August 2011


Infertility affects one in seven couples during their lifetime. Approximately one-quarter of these will have an ovulatory disorder contributing to their inability to conceive. Ovulatory disorders represent the simplest form of infertility to treat, and where this is not a result of ovarian failure or poor ovarian reserve most women require ovulation induction with clomifene citrate (CC). This review aims to examine the role of CC in a general practice setting. CC is a simple, relatively safe, easily administered and well-tolerated efficacious drug. There is, however, a 10% risk of multiple births associated with its use. CC has been used in general practice for many years and continues to be used. Currently, guidelines do not describe its use in the general practice setting and the evidence for monitoring its use with mid-luteal progesterone estimation or ultrasound scanning is conflicting.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally reviewed.