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Is There a Connection between Melatonin and Fertility?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 17, 2024
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There is no easy answer when it comes to the connection between melatonin, a hormone some people take as a supplement, and fertility. Some studies show that melatonin supplement use, in certain concentrations, can actually impair a person's efforts to conceive. Others, however, show that melatonin may be useful for improving a woman's egg quality, which in most cases would improve her chances of conceiving and having a healthy child. Even if this supplement doesn't interfere with a person's fertility, it can cause adverse side effects. As such, a person may do well to discuss its use with a doctor before taking it.

An individual may have difficulty getting definite information about the connection between the use of melatonin and fertility. This is because some studies have produced evidence one way or another, but this evidence might not be enough to provide an across-the-board answer. As such, people are often advised to take care when using melatonin, as well as other supplements, when they are trying to conceive. In general, an individual may do well to speak with a medical professional before beginning any sort of supplementation.

The results of some studies of the connection between melatonin and fertility reveal that using this supplement may prove a poor choice for individuals who are hoping to conceive. The supplement can interfere with ovulation, which has an adverse affect on conception efforts. It could also affect the levels of a range of hormones that are important to a woman's ability to conceive and carry a child, including luteinizing hormone and progesterone.

The potential adverse connection between melatonin and fertility doesn't only affect women — it can prove a problem for men as well. For instance, some studies have shown that use of this substance can cause low sperm motility, which means it can reduce the number of sperm capable of swimming in the correct direction and at the right speed toward a waiting egg. It may even interfere with sex drive in some men.

The news regarding melatonin and fertility isn't all negative, however. Some studies show that it may help improve egg quality. This can prove to be an important consideration for women who have difficulty conceiving because of low-quality eggs. Egg quality issues can affect women of any age group, but are often a matter of concern for females over 35. Melatonin might prove particularly effective for improving egg quality when taken along with a supplement called myo-inositol.

If a person does decide to use melatonin while trying to conceive, he may do well to avoid high doses, as higher does might prove more likely to interfere with reproduction rather than helping it along. He may also do well to stay alert for side effects, such as the worsening of symptoms of depression. Likewise, this supplement can adversely affect thyroid hormones and cause drowsiness at inopportune times.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGEEK writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.

Discussion Comments

By anon962538 — On Jul 24, 2014

Melatonin regulates reproductive function and modulates circadian rhythms in most mammals. For me personally, the beauty of most research on melatonin and fertility is that it showed that humans are not much different. We are the ultimate mammals, so to speak.

In addition to sleep patterns, there are studies also pointing that melatonin helps to improve egg quality, which is an especially limiting factor in achieving pregnancy in older women.

By candyquilt — On Feb 16, 2014

I'm not trying to conceive but I take melatonin as a sleep aid and I think that it's affecting my menstrual cycle. I've being having my period earlier than usual and my cycles have always been very regular. I'm not taking anything else so I think that the melatonin might have something to do with it. It might be something to consider for those trying for a baby.

By SarahGen — On Feb 15, 2014

@donasmrs-- I agree with you. I found only one study which shows a positive correlation between melatonin and fertility. This study found that women who took melatonin while undergoing IVF treatment had more healthy eggs retrieved. This got me interested because I'm also undergoing IVF. I asked my doctor about it and she said that she knows about the study but does not trust it because of the methodology. The study did not control for a lot of factors, so the results cannot be accepted as being accurate. So I completely agree with you that the chances of melatonin having a negative effect on fertility is greater than the chances of it having a positive effect.

There are so many better and safer supplements that can be taken instead. Royal jelly, for example, is great for fertility and does not have side effects.

By donasmrs — On Feb 14, 2014

I'm experiencing sleep problems and was recommended melatonin by a friend. However, I'm also trying to conceive so I've decided not to take the supplement.

I did a lot of reading to try and figure out the effect of melatonin on fertility. Yes, there are some studies showing that it may have a positive effect, but I don't think that these are enough. There are more studies showing melatonin's negative effects on fertility. So I don't want to take the risk.

Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGEEK writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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