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Does Melatonin affect fertility?

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Are there long-term negative consequences for female fertility from taking melatonin? I just read that women who wish to become pregnant should not take melatonin--does this just mean that it affects hormones and so it will make conceiving difficult while taking melatonin or that it affects the female reproductive system long-term?
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First Helper Fandangoyoga
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replied December 12th, 2007
Community Volunteer
There is so much research that is needed to be done on melatonin how much it effects us. It does prevent ovulation. It isn't recommended for people with allergies, immune disease, and it is not recommended for children either.

It is a hormone, not an herb, and I have read that in an animal research study some of the animals suffered the effects of a melatonin shot even after pregnancy, such as failure to lactate. It does seem that there are many benefits to using melatonin and it is safe when used as instructed, however there is no solid evidence that it actually does help with what it may be used for. No matter what benefits it has, they don't outweigh the risk that it might put to a mother and baby, or a woman trying to conceive.
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replied April 2nd, 2011
Hello,
It would be appropriate for you to ask your prescribing doctor about this issue. Overall, melatonin supplements in reasonable amounts (one to three milligrams per day) appear to be very safe.

Best wishes and good luck.

Thanks
___________
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replied December 20th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
Oh my gosh, I am so happy that I came across this post. I have been taking melatonin every night for sleep for about 3-4 months and my cycles have been so messed up. I feel like I havent ovulated for at least 3 months. Could the melatonin also be a cause of late or missed periods?
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replied December 22nd, 2007
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Could very well be. It could also be because of stress. The only way to know would be to stop taking it and see if you go back to your normal self.

Why are you using this remedy? Maybe there is something else that will provide the same benefits?
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replied August 30th, 2009
Melatonin and missed periods
I've found these post to be very helpfull. I have been taking 1 mg. melatonin every night for just about three months now. My periods have always been consistant and it wasn't until i began taking melatonin that i noticed a huge difference. The first month i got my period a week early, the second month i didn't get my period at all, and not this month i am a week late. I just stopped taking it to see if i will even get my period this month. Your probably thinking i'm pregnant.....I'm NOT. It's the melatonin. I'm upset that i have to stop taking it because it did help me sleep a sold 8-9 hrs every night. Any suggestions or herbal supplements that might help with my sleep?

thanks
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replied June 10th, 2011
Thanks--sounds like a subject in need of data points.
Started taking melatonin two nights ago, truly a minimal dose--0.5 mg. Got my period 4 days early this morning--first time being early by more than 12 hours in over a year. Seems like maybe I'll use it for a few more days, then see if I can do without for a couple of weeks, then start in again, post-ovulation. It sure was nice to sleep through the night two nights in a row, though!
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replied August 30th, 2009
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I was recently recommended to try something called Mama Calm. It worked very well for my cousin who is a mom of 4, and she wanted me to try it because I haven't yet found a safe and effective sleep remedy yet after years of searching. You can find it online or probably a health food store.

I only heard about it a few days ago, so I can't give you a personal experience, but it is supposed to work! If you do try it, let me know how it is Smile I'll probably getting some for myself soon.
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replied September 25th, 2009
Melatonin is fine is very small doses, I would seek a 0.5mg dose if you are trying to conceive and still have trouble sleeping, or cut a 1mg dose in half Smile

There is no evidence that it prevents ovulation, and the sheer fact that people post things without proof is going to cause someone who is ovulating to stop.

The mind is a very powerful thing.

If you want a non hormone version of a sleep aid that wont hurt a baby try herbal teas, choose one with no known profile for causing birth defects. chamomile is one type of tea.. avg tea bags needed for sleep affect is 3-4, I am 6ft2" and a fairly big guy so I take 4 bags to knock my butt out. I would not start at 4 bags Smile You can also just drink more tea. (non caffeinated!!) as caffeine interrupts your sleep cycles.
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replied September 26th, 2009
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Actually, there is a lot of evidence, but I can't seem to find a link that does not go against the no advertising policies of this website.

If you want more info, you should google infertility + melatonin. Everyone responds differently, but why play with fire?

Taking a daily whole foods multivitamin, plus an additional supplement of calcium and magnesium will do wonders. It did for me.

There is also a product called Mama Calm which some moms I know absolutely love for relaxation and rest.
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replied September 26th, 2009
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Here is a link to the University of MD medical center...should be legit with the rules of this site...

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/melaton in-000315.htm


Precautions:

Because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications, people should take dietary supplements only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.

Some people may experience vivid dreams or nightmares when they take melatonin. Overuse or incorrect use of melatonin may disrupt circadian rhythms. Melatonin can cause drowsiness if taken during the day. If you experience morning drowsiness after taking melatonin at night take a lower dose. Additional side effects include stomach cramps, dizziness, headache, irritability, decreased libido, breast enlargement in men (called gynecomastia), and decreased sperm count.

Pregnant or nursing women should not take melatonin as it could interfere with fertility.




Here is another site:

http://www.sltbr.org/melfaq.htm

How safe is melatonin?

Current research suggests it probably is safe to use melatonin if you are:

* over 18 years old, and healthy
* not pregnant
* not breast-feeding
* not taking other medications except for minor analgesics and oral contraceptives


And there are many sites more that you can find on your own. Please do not assume that other posters don't know what they are talking about. If you have reasonable information for this site, do give it without targeting other posters' knowledge and/or expertise.
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replied December 13th, 2009
I am 16 and I have been taking melatonin for probably about 4 years. Could it make it harder for me to have a baby in the future?
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replied December 14th, 2009
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As is mentioned in my above post:


Current research suggests it probably is safe to use melatonin if you are:

* over 18 years old, and healthy
* not pregnant
* not breast-feeding
* not taking other medications except for minor analgesics and oral contraceptives

Since you are 16, I'm not sure if it is recommended for you. When you are taking it when you are older, you would just need to stop taking it if you were considering having a baby. As for me, I like to rely on things that I can take no matter what situation I am in. That way I don't have to worry what is safe and what is not when I am pregnant and not pregnant.
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replied June 10th, 2011
To be clear, the age and fertility statement is actually a fairly standard statement used by anyone selling biologically active products, unless and until they are specifically tested in children ("under 18") and pregnant or breastfeeding women. (The law distinguishes between over/under 18 in a way that biology itself does not, considering a 16 year old as being more "like" an 8 year old than "like" an 18 year old.) The lawsuit potential and liability are much, much higher. The specific questions about fertility are important, but they are separate from that standard statement, which is all about the legal requirement for separate testing before a product can be sold to those groups--not because it's unsafe, but because it has not been proven safe in expensive (and legally risky) clinical trials for those classes of people.

Those regulations existed before thalidomide, but of course, they only got strengthened with the horror of thalidomide. If you're pregnant / trying to get pregnant, it certainly makes sense to be super-careful with anything that could mis-set the development of an embryo or fetus, or play even a minor role in tweaking your hormonal levels (which affect the likelihood of getting pregnant and of not miscarrying). In particular, the first few months of pregnancy are when the basic body plan is set up, so that everything is connected the right way. Past that point, it's less a question of a teratogen, and more about things like risk of miscarriage, or mis-setting the hormonal states in the fetus (look up Diethylstilbestrol = DES). Melatonin is probably not the riskiest thing you could take! But going as "med free" as possible in pregnancy, unless it's to treat a major health problem, is generally a smart choice. After all, DES was used for decades as "safe" until people recognized that it caused vaginal tumors in the daughters of women who had been treated with DES...12-20 years after exposure, as well as a tendency towards misformed reproductive tracts.
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replied September 11th, 2010
did i get pregnant using melatonin?
I've been trying to get pregnant for 3 yrs, and have been told my only chance is through In-Vitro ($40K per session), since my body has a very high FSH level and is acting as if it's premenopausal. I took melatonin a couple of months ago, to help me sleep, but only did so for about a week because I was so groggy in the mornings.
After being +1 wk late, I took a pregnancy test yesterday.. it was positive (as we're the other 5 I took since then). In reading about links between melatonin and fertility, I truly think that must have been what changed my body to allow for the sperm and egg to get together. Amazing how much money is spent on things like male enhancement, but so little on fertility issues.
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replied October 11th, 2010
Melatonin could improve women's IVF success - Important Research
Yes, Melatonin can help fertility! There has been research done and published this year. Melatonin helps improve egg quality. The study done in Japan showed that the fertilisation rate of the women taking taking Melatonin was 50%! And then of the embryos that were transplanted 19% of them grew into successful pregnancies. So this really boosted the success rate of IVF. Women wanting to get pregnant without IVF (Naturally) can take this supplement too. My doctor, here in Japan, has given me 3mg to take 5 minutes before I go to bed, daily. He suggests to rest 2 nights per month towards when your period might be due, at the end of the month. This is to allow your body to produce its own melatonin and not to rely totally on the melatonin. The Melatonin is an anti-oxidant which means it enhances our immune system, has anti-inflammatory properties and is said to have anti-carcinogenic properties (kills cancer cells). The anti-oxidative effect on our eggs helps to make nice, healthy strong eggs that have a higher chance of becoming fertilised.
If you are trying to get pregnant and are in your late 30's or into your 40's then you might want to take Melatonin to enhance your chances of becoming pregnant. See below for the recent article about the Melatonin/Fertility study in Japan.


Melatonin could improve women's IVF success
20 September 2010
By Harriet Vickers

Appeared in BioNews 576

Women with poor egg (or oocyte) quality could double their chance of becoming pregnant through IVF if given melatonin, researchers have found. The work was presented at the World Congress of Fertility and Sterility in Munich last week.

'Despite great advances in assisted reproductive technology, poor oocyte quality remains a serious problem for female infertility', said Professor Hiroshi Tamura from the Yamaguchi University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan, who led the research. 'So far no practical and effective treatment for improving oocyte quality has been established'.

High levels of oxidising agents - a type of chemical compound - in the follicular fluids surrounding the egg indicate if a woman has low quality oocytes. These can 'stress' and damage the oocyte. The team took one of these agents known as 8-OHdG and measured its levels in follicular fluid samples. Levels of melatonin, which is known to have anti-oxidising effects, were also measured.

The team found that, as melatonin concentration in the follicular fluids naturally increased, the level of 8-OHdG decreased, leading them to believe melatonin was linked to the reduction of the oxidising agents. They confirmed this finding in mice, and discovered that adding melatonin seemed to reduce the damage to the egg caused by the agents.

Next, the group set up a trial with women coming for IVF treatment at the Yamaguchi University Graduate School of Medicine to see if these findings could have real-world effects on IVF. Women who had failed to become pregnant because of poor oocyte quality after one cycle of IVF were split into two groups - 56 women were given three milligrams of melatonin before the next IVF cycle, and 59 just received a standard IVF cycle without melatonin.

The team found that melatonin treatment significantly increased melatonin concentrations in the women's follicles and significantly decreased concentrations of the damaging 8-OhdG. Their results showed 50 per cent of the eggs from women who taken melatonin could be successfully fertilised, as opposed to 22.8 per cent in the control group. When the eggs were transplanted into the womb, 19 per cent (11 out of the total 56) of the women became pregnant, as opposed to 10.2 per cent (six out of total 59) in the control group. The work was published in the Journal of Pineal Research.

'This work needs to be confirmed, but we believe that melatonin treatment is likely to become a significant option for improving oocyte quality in women who cannot become pregnant because of poor oocyte quality', said Professor Tamura. 'Our next step is to analyze exactly how reactive oxygen species harm the oocyte, and how melatonin reduces oxidative stress in the oocyte'.

Professor Russel Reiter from the UT Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas, who co-authored the paper, agreed. He told BioNews: 'it is important that this work be independently confirmed on larger numbers of subjects'. But he added that the findings 'make perfect sense', as melatonin has been shown to protect many different cells and tissues from oxidative damage - the same type of damage known to occur to oocytes.
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replied October 11th, 2010
Yes, Melatonin can help fertility! There has been research done and published this year. Melatonin helps improve egg quality. The study done in Japan showed that the fertilisation rate of the women taking taking Melatonin was 50%! And then of the embryos that were transplanted 19% of them grew into successful pregnancies. So this really boosted the success rate of IVF. Women wanting to get pregnant without IVF (Naturally) can take this supplement too. My doctor, here in Japan, has given me 3mg to take 5 minutes before I go to bed, daily. He suggests to rest 2 nights per month towards when your period might be due, at the end of the month. This is to allow your body to produce its own melatonin and not to rely totally on the melatonin. The Melatonin is an anti-oxidant which means it enhances our immune system, has anti-inflammatory properties and is said to have anti-carcinogenic properties (kills cancer cells). The anti-oxidative effect on our eggs helps to make nice, healthy strong eggs that have a higher chance of becoming fertilised.
If you are trying to get pregnant and are in your late 30's or into your 40's then you might want to take Melatonin to enhance your chances of becoming pregnant. See below for the recent article about the Melatonin/Fertility study in Japan.


Melatonin could improve women's IVF success
20 September 2010
By Harriet Vickers

Appeared in BioNews 576

Women with poor egg (or oocyte) quality could double their chance of becoming pregnant through IVF if given melatonin, researchers have found. The work was presented at the World Congress of Fertility and Sterility in Munich last week.

'Despite great advances in assisted reproductive technology, poor oocyte quality remains a serious problem for female infertility', said Professor Hiroshi Tamura from the Yamaguchi University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan, who led the research. 'So far no practical and effective treatment for improving oocyte quality has been established'.

High levels of oxidising agents - a type of chemical compound - in the follicular fluids surrounding the egg indicate if a woman has low quality oocytes. These can 'stress' and damage the oocyte. The team took one of these agents known as 8-OHdG and measured its levels in follicular fluid samples. Levels of melatonin, which is known to have anti-oxidising effects, were also measured.

The team found that, as melatonin concentration in the follicular fluids naturally increased, the level of 8-OHdG decreased, leading them to believe melatonin was linked to the reduction of the oxidising agents. They confirmed this finding in mice, and discovered that adding melatonin seemed to reduce the damage to the egg caused by the agents.

Next, the group set up a trial with women coming for IVF treatment at the Yamaguchi University Graduate School of Medicine to see if these findings could have real-world effects on IVF. Women who had failed to become pregnant because of poor oocyte quality after one cycle of IVF were split into two groups - 56 women were given three milligrams of melatonin before the next IVF cycle, and 59 just received a standard IVF cycle without melatonin.

The team found that melatonin treatment significantly increased melatonin concentrations in the women's follicles and significantly decreased concentrations of the damaging 8-OhdG. Their results showed 50 per cent of the eggs from women who taken melatonin could be successfully fertilised, as opposed to 22.8 per cent in the control group. When the eggs were transplanted into the womb, 19 per cent (11 out of the total 56) of the women became pregnant, as opposed to 10.2 per cent (six out of total 59) in the control group. The work was published in the Journal of Pineal Research.

'This work needs to be confirmed, but we believe that melatonin treatment is likely to become a significant option for improving oocyte quality in women who cannot become pregnant because of poor oocyte quality', said Professor Tamura. 'Our next step is to analyze exactly how reactive oxygen species harm the oocyte, and how melatonin reduces oxidative stress in the oocyte'.

Professor Russel Reiter from the UT Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas, who co-authored the paper, agreed. He told BioNews: 'it is important that this work be independently confirmed on larger numbers of subjects'. But he added that the findings 'make perfect sense', as melatonin has been shown to protect many different cells and tissues from oxidative damage - the same type of damage known to occur to oocytes.
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replied September 6th, 2011
Egg Quality, Melatonin, Myo-Inositol and CoQ10
Here is a great blog citing and supporting melatonin and fertility success rates. http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art297 72.asp

I do agree that melatonin is a hormone, even if in the form of a 'natural supplement' you have to weigh the evidence and effects with your particular purpose. If you are already having trouble conceiving, it may be worth considering. I have not seen/heard anything detrimental as far as 'future' fertility diminishing as a result of using.

I have been fighting diminished ovarian reserve for three years, which is a problem as you age your number of eggs in reserve decline and those that are left are not of great quality. It is a pitiful state for one who meets their love later in life and wishes to have a family with him.

My new fertility doctor advocates 3 mg melatonin + 4g myo-inosit0l in preparation for getting pregnant + 800 mg CoQ10. Do you see an antioxident, anti-inflammatory theme here? Yes. Apparently the Myo-inositol assists the melatonin antioxident properties to bind with the egg in order to improve its quality.

I do hope this helps. nice package of supplements combining most if not all of these elements for 'egg quality'. This is usually prescribed for us gals who are on the older side and have mediocore to high FSH and lower AMH levels.
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replied February 17th, 2012
This is all really very confusing.
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replied June 12th, 2012
Melatonin
Ancidotal evidence is the first step towards creating a hypothesis. I know for me, I have been taking Melatonin off and on for a couple months. My periods have become, well, lazy. This month, I took melatonin for a week straight. My period is totally wacked. I looked up in my herb book and took some black cohosh to help it out. Worked like a charm. Took melatonin last night. Felt my uterus stop cramping and go back to being "lazy". Ancedotal, yes. Important towards creating a hypothesis, yes. Needs to be researched further, yes.
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replied August 10th, 2013
Melatonin WILL EFFECT YOUR Menstrual Cycle.
My SHORT reply:

Melatonin helps with sleep but makes the rest of your body out of whack esp your period. It is n't confusing there are more people who have posted negative side effects than those who have defended the drug. I find it weird the defender who wrote the most never stated they tried it or were on it.

You should listen to women who have actually taken the drug.. For instance like me, add me to the list of women on here. I took it for less than a week and my period started today. My period wasn't suppose to start until Aug 24th and today is Aug 10th.

The only difference is that I have been taking this pill. My periods are pinpoint accurate. What happened...? My diet hasn't changed nothing has changed besides I was prescribed a hormonal based sleeping pill
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replied August 10th, 2013
My Long reply:

I woke up this morning to blood in my underwear. My period wasn’t set to start, like clockwork, until the end of the month; as it always does. So I was startled and a little frightened. This is how accurate and consistent my periods are, that they never start early and always start at the end of the month. Today is August 10th, the beginning of the month.

I started my period early this month. I have a period app that has always been pinpoint accurate at identifying my start dates. That is, until now. I have been taking Melatonin for less than a week and it has already altered my menstrual cycle.

I went online initially searching for reasons why a period starts earlier. Then it hit me, “Why not search to see if anyone else has had trouble with this hormonal based sleeping pill”. Taking anything with hormones can be dangerous and, well, chemical alternating, changing the dynamics of your body.

Sure enough there was website after website of people documenting their first had experience taking this hormonal based sleeping and there periods being alternated. Everything from starting earlier than it should have, having two periods a month, and being on there period longer than they usually were. All of these experiences happened AFTER they started taking this sleeping pill.

What's more test studies were performed before they released it the public stating that:

" There are several side effects that need further scientific investigation. These include:
....Altering menstrual cycles..."


How come no one told me “ There are several side effect that still need scientific investigation.....

I am going to research them because I am totally freaked out right now. They should be allowed to make money off of using us as lab rats. I was old this was all natural. Yeah right it is a man made hormone. Doctors always chasing after that buck, This is freaking e out. I am extremely poor. I can’t afford to have two periods a month because I can’t afford to buy the tampons I need for it. Furthermore, in some rats it tested it on, it make the steril. Wow, this drug should not be used on humans if they are still working out the quirks on rats. i AM DUMPING the pills out in the trash and washing my hands of this drug NOT a natural cure as I was told by those who prescribed it.
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replied August 10th, 2013
Melatonin DECREASES your chance of pregnancy
If you are having more than one period in a month and your cycles are out of whack how can it be said then that it "helps with or increase your chance of fertility"?

The evidence contradicts this and the studies. There are studies and information released by those who want to make money from it and those that are honest and complete lacking nothing even the damaging stuff about the drug.

The fact is they are still trying to work out the kinks and YES alternating menstrual cycles is a side effect and yes obviously this can decrease our chance of pregnancy. It did make rats sterile. We aren't rats but if am having two periods then no period then something else every month random any logical minded person would assume my ovulation is going to be messed up.


If your aren't ovulating proper and consistently and your periods aren't on track it will be very a hard to have a period.
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