Definition - What does Melatonin mean?

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in the brain to regulate sleep patterns. Darkness is a trigger for its production. Melatonin may play a role in fertility by acting as an antioxidant and preventing cellular damage to help ensure good egg quality.

In addition, during a woman’s menstrual cycle melatonin has been measured at variable levels. Levels dip right before ovulation and peak in the luteal phase. This suggests that melatonin may somehow play a role in a woman’s fertility. Women who do shift work (night scheduled work) are more likely to have longer and irregular menstrual cycles.

FertilitySmarts explains Melatonin

Some small studies have shown that women who take melatonin supplements during their in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles have led to greater pregnancy success rates. It should be noted, however, that these studies had a sample size too small to prove clinical significance. It is possible that other confounding factors may have contributed to the women’s pregnancy success.

Some studies show higher success in the number of mature eggs retrieved, fertilization rate, and better quality embryo transfers when using melatonin in combination with myo-inositol during an IVF cycle, even for those who have experienced previous IVF failures.

Melatonin is safely distributed as a nonprescription supplement for up to three months. It is taken at bedtime once daily. The data is limited supporting its use for aiding in fertility. It has also been suggested that due to its varying levels during the menstrual cycle, doses that are too large may even prevent ovulation from occurring. As with any health supplement, the use of melatonin should be discussed with a health care professional when trying to become pregnant.

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