Last updated: May 30th, 2019 at 12:34 pm

Melatonin and Fertility

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone. It is most commonly known for playing a vital role in sleep.  It helps determine when we fall asleep and what time we wake up.   Our  bodies produce higher levels of melatonin when it is dark.  We produce less during daylight hours when the sun is shining. Exposure to light in at night can disrupt the body’s normal cyclic release of melatonin.  In particular, bright artificial light can interfere. Establishing a good bedtime routine can help regulate the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that helps to regulate many other hormones in the body. Studies are showing it plays a role in fertility.  When it comes to fertility, you want to ensure that melatonin gets released at the proper times in the proper amounts.  To learn more go to www.webmd.com.

How are Melatonin and fertility related?

Melatonin has been found to control:

  • body temperature (it is very important for a developing embryo to be in a warm uterus)
  • the timing and release of female reproductive hormones
  • the onset of puberty in females
  • the frequency and duration of menstrual cycles
  • when a woman stops menstruating and enters menopause

Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland.  This is a small endocrine gland located between the two hemispheres of the brain. Melatonin is also produced by ovarian follicles as well as in immature follicles. It is also produced in the mass of cells that surround the ovarian follicles.

Melatonin is a powerful free radical that exerts strong antioxidant effects.  Free radicals help support cellular health by protecting an immature egg from oxidative stress.  This is very beneficial around the time when ovulation occurs.

A study from Japan showed melatonin may increase egg quality.  It does this by reducing the level of 8-OHdG  in the ovum. 8-OHdG is an oxidising agent and is a natural product of DNA oxidation.

A study in the Journal of Ovarian Research states, “It has been believed that melatonin regulates ovarian function by the regulation of gonadotropin release in the hypothalamus-pituitary gland axis via its specific receptors… Higher concentrations of melatonin have been found in human preovulatory follicular fluid compared to serum, and there is growing evidence of the direct effects of melatonin on ovarian function, especially oocyte maturation and embryo development.”

Getting a good night’s sleep can greatly help to regulate your melatonin.  Read our article: Top Tips on How to Get a Good Nights Sleep.

Always consult your doctor for medical advice and before taking any supplements, herbs or vitamins, especially if you are doing IVF.

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melatonin and Sleep