PCOS, Clomifene and shortened periods - PCOS UK (Verity)

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PCOS, Clomifene and shortened periods



I've recently been diagnosed with PCOS. I've always had fairly regular periods (average 32 days) until I started trying to conceive 2 years ago (ironic?!) In the last year my periods have been more erratic, 36 to 50 days. I'm at the top end of the healthy weight category and have some minor hirsutism. I had an ultrasound last summer which was normal, but another in Febraury this year that showed PCOS. But all in all I count my PCOS symptoms as fairly minor. I've started a low GI diet (geez I miss bread) but would appreciate any other advice.

I'm now on month 3 taking Clomifene and have noticed that my periods appear to be shortening, but more dramatically than i expected. 27, 28 and now 23 days. Can anyone tell me if that's normal? Or should I speak to my doctor?

Any advice greatly appreciated.

15 Replies


You might find it more useful to post in the fertility forum as well as it is definitely more active on this subject.

I have PCOS- healthy weight, minor outward symptoms, very irregular periods (between 2 or 4 a year). I was referred to the fertility clinic after TTC for one year. The fertility doctors started me on letrozole. I was monitored to make sure I was ovulating- they did a day 21 progesterone level. It turns out after 6 months of treatment my body was not ovulating even with the letrozole to stimulate ovulation and doses up to the max. So now I start IVF in less than 2 months.

Clomifene is similar to letrozole, are you having your cycles monitored with bloods or scans to make sure are responding to the medication? Have the doctor's confirmed ovulation with a blood test? Apparently the OPKs are not as sensitive in PCOS ladies. I would definitely speak to your doctor as they should be upping or reducing the doses depending on how you get on. Not to freak you out but I think my fertiity doctor must have known I wasn't going to respond after the second round of letrozole as that was when I was referred for IVF.

Best of luck and definitely have a wee look at the fertility forum you will find lots of help and support there!

Good luck!!!


CagePow in reply to EmGLA

Hi Emma,

Thanks so much for your response and advice! I will certainly check out the fertility forum.

I had bloods about a year ago (before clomifene) that confirmed ovulation but I've never had a positive OPK (I don't bother with them anymore!) but through charting have always thought (if I did ovulate) then it was probably quite late. During month 1 of clomifene I had a scan that showed I had 1 healthy follicle in my left ovary but no blood tests or further scans were offered- I'll try and press for that next time!

It does feel like a delay tactic before offering IVF. Doctors suggest putting you on something for 6 months as if 6 months isn't a long bloomin time!

Good luck with your IVF, I hope these last two months go quickly so you can get cracking!

Thanks again! Xxx

EmGLA in reply to CagePow

My doctor was really positive about me conceiving on Letrozole, my body just didn’t want to comply. My clinic are really aware of the feeling of wasting time during this whole process so they referred me for IVF whilst still recommending me to take the tablets.

I have been told that a progesterone test 7 days after ovulation is the gold standard and you are looking for a level higher than 15 (some clinics want 20).

Good luck!! Fingers crossed you don’t have to get to the IVF stage.


CagePow in reply to EmGLA

Thanks Emma, wishing you all the luck too. Xx

I was told they may shorten when on clomid but mine didn’t- I presume your tubes have been checked and your partners sperm?

I would also look at fertilityfriends website to look for signs of ovulation as a period doesn’t mean you are ovulating

What dose of clomid are you on, are they going to up it at all!

CagePow in reply to Hols969

Thanks Hols,

Yes tubes are fine as is partners sperm.

I'm on 50mg but they haven't offered to up it. I had one scan in month one and am not due to see them until I've done 6 months. Should I be pushing for more?

And thanks, I'll check out that website.


Hols969 in reply to CagePow

I would ask yes as there is a time limit for clomid which was 9 months when I was on it 15 years ago - what is their suggestion after clomid?

CagePow in reply to Hols969

They said six months and then IVF. Pretty intimidated about the idea of IVF but will cross that bridge if we get there! Xx

Hols969 in reply to CagePow

Seems strange not to up the dose as I know a number of ladies that didnt ovulate on 50mg but did on a higher dose and got pregnant. I would see if you can get a follow up phone call.

CagePow in reply to Hols969

Will do. Thanks for the advice :-) xx

I’m currently on month 3 letrozole, PCO but not PCOS, otherwise unexplained infertility. Ive found my cycles to be shorter too, 26/27 days, normally 30-33 days. No-one told me to expect that .. mind you ive had 0 symptoms and not convinced im ovulating on them at all although i do without them .. very odd x

CagePow in reply to Sunshine92

It's all odd isn't it! Thank goodness for forums like this so we know we're not on our own! Good luck xx

I would speak to your doctor again. They should really be doing a check each month even if it’s just a 21 day blood test to see if you’re ovulating. I started on 50 and it didn’t work so they upped it the following month and i ovulated on 100 and I got pregnant.

I can’t give advice on the shortening of periods though as I just didn’t get them at all and had to take provera to give me a period.

CagePow in reply to Binky1983

Thanks Binky, I've booked in with the doc. Xx

If you have clomid you must be under a fertility clinic? Is that so?

Or you having IVF

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