Melatonin and IVF: What’s the Deal?
The use of melatonin in IVF is not new, but it has been gaining popularity recently due to its proven ability to increase oocyte quality. Melatonin has been used successfully in other reproductive procedures such as assisted reproduction (IVF). There are many benefits of using melatonin to enhance oocytes’ quality, including increasing fertilization rates and improving pregnancy outcomes.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) involves the use of human eggs or embryos from which live births have been produced. These “embryos” are produced in a lab by combining a mother’s egg and father’s healthy (sperm) in a petri dish.
IVF was conceived as a result of the technological advances in reproductive technology during the twentieth century. The first “test-tube baby” was conceived in 1978 from the fusion of an egg and a live cancer cell. Since then, the success of IVF has increased significantly.
In Australia, one in every 100 children is conceived from IVF treatment. Over 20,000 babies have been conceived using IVF since its inception. The first “test-tube baby” was a success.
IVF is very effective when the correct hormones are used at the right time and in the right dosages.
There are two types of IVF treatment:
IVF (Oocyte Donation)
ICSI (Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection)
Oocyte donation involves injecting a woman’s egg with a healthy donor’s cytoplasm and nucleus.
ICSI involves the injection of a single, healthy male gamete directly into the cytoplasm of a female donor.
Age is a limiting factor for women who want to undergo IVF treatment. As a woman ages, the quality and quantity of her eggs decline.
Can melatonin help?
Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant. It can be used to prevent oxidative damage caused by toxins, free radicals, and other aggressive compounds. It can also be used to improve the success of in vitro fertilization.
Melatonin’s role in IVF is to increase the quality of oocytes (eggs) during the process. It reduces oxidative stress and increases the number of eggs available for use during the treatment. The increase in egg quality leads to a higher success rate and a higher chance of producing a child. Melatonin can be used alone or in combination with other hormones.
Can you use melatonin with fertility treatment?
There are not many studies on the effect of melatonin and IVF. Most studies focus on the effects of melatonin on eggs or embryos. Smaller studies have focused on how melatonin affects the growth of embryos in the womb. Melatonin has not been tested in humans, and most studies involve animal subjects.
The use of melatonin in IVF is not widespread, partially because not many studies have been done on the compound. The studies that have been performed are fairly old (between 1988 and 2001).
IVF is a costly and time-consuming procedure. Many women struggle to afford the treatment. The demand for IVF far exceeds the number of facilities offering the service. It’s unlikely that melatonin will be used as a standard part of IVF treatment anytime in the near future.
However, some women have been able to get melatonin prescriptions in Australia and the United Kingdom. For women with low melatonin, IVF success rates are much higher.
IVF treatment involves several steps and involves hormones. Some of these hormones can cause an increase in melatonin levels. In fact, some women have had success using melatonin as a sleep aid due to the IVF hormones they’ve been given.
IVF involves hormone injections to “kick-start” ovulation. These hormones can elevate the levels of melatonin in the body.
While some women can produce high enough levels of melatonin on their own, others need to take melatonin as a supplement. IVF increases the chances of successful pregnancies if you have higher melatonin baseline levels.
IVF begins when a woman is given hormones to jump-start her ovulation cycle. The egg retrieval process happens a day or two after the luteinizing hormone (LH) injection. This is when doctors retrieve the mature eggs from the ovary using a thin needle. Immediately after, other doctors use a catheter to retrieve the egg.
Melatonin is sometimes used to improve egg quality or quantity. However, there is limited research on this topic. At the very least, melatonin can help you fall asleep during long nights at the IVF clinic.
How does melatonin improve IVF success?
Melatonin improves IVF success rates by preventing oxidative stress and damage to your eggs. Oxidative damage can prevent an egg from successfully developing into an embryo. The egg isn’t able to divide appropriately or the embryo doesn’t survive.
Melatonin can be taken as a natural supplement or it can be used in the IVF process directly. Melatonin supplementation has been used in low light conditions in an effort to increase egg production in animals.
IVF is a stressful and tiring process.
Even if you don’t normally suffer from sleep problems, you may find that the IVF process keeps you up at night. Night after night of interrupted sleep is enough to make anyone feel exhausted. Melatonin can help you get a good night’s rest to keep your energy levels up.
IVF is an expensive and time-consuming process.
Most health insurance providers do not cover IVF because it is considered “experimental”. While there is no cure for infertility, some women have a higher probability of getting pregnant with the help of fertility treatments. Certain age and health factors can contribute to decreased fertility.
You should consult with your physician about your IVF treatment options. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. Make sure you know what to expect before, during, and after each step of the process.
Melatonin is available over-the-counter at most pharmacies. It is a natural supplement that has a safe track record and minimal side effects. You can take melatonin as a sleep aid or take a smaller dosage (0.5 mg) to potentially increase your IVF success odds.
Melatonin supplementation can potentially help improve your IVF success.
We know that melatonin is safe to take and can increase the odds of a successful IVF cycle. However, it is always best to talk to your physician before beginning a new supplement. Melatonin isn’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and dosages can vary greatly between brands.
Melatonin can potentially help your IVF success in a number of ways. Most importantly, it can help you get a good night’s rest during a stressful and tiring process.
Call your physician to learn more or talk to a nurse about your specific situation. If you want to learn more about melatonin, speak with your physician or look for the supplement at your local pharmacy.
More information about melatonin can be found here:
American Sleep Association: “All About Melatonin”
National Library of Medicine: “Melatonin”
PubMed Health: “Melatonin”
Mayo Clinic: “Melatonin: An introduction”
John’s Hopkins Hospital: “Melatonin”
Medline Plus: “Melatonin”
Always see your physician before starting a new supplement or making any changes to your health routine. This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice.
show us your tips!
The community of Tipaholics!
Top posts in every category!
Most complimentary post ever!
Choose your specialty!
Most popular post in every category!
On the front page!
Wanna hang out?
Wanna Get High?
Good Night & Good Luck!
The Tip jar
Don’t Hurt Me!
Would you like to super size that?
Made Your Day A Little Better?
Thanks, you’re amazing!
How Can I Get Involved?
You are the community here!
On the menu bar, click on “Home” then choose a category to find your topic.
Can’t find what you’re looking for or have a suggestion to make?
Send us a message!
Contact Us! Send us a message and make your voice heard!
Rate Us! If you’ve liked what you’ve seen, then we deserve your thumbs up!
Subscribe to our Subreddit! Its a great place to find new tips,find people that share your interests, and banter with the community!
Add us to your Google+ Circles! Its a great way to stay up-to-date on everything new on Tip of my Fingers!
Thanks again, you’re amazing!
/r/TipOfMyFingers is a subreddit for the intelligent discussion of health, nutrition, and fitness! Our goal is to provide evidence based knowledge to help people live a better life.
As a new user, you may get a few messages from your eager fellow users in the mail. Please add everyone as friends so no one gets blocked!
Remember, everyone was a newbie at some point. Be patient with them and teach them right from wrong. If someone is being mean, report the message or send me a message and I’ll ban them!
Also make sure to upvote people who are helpful and constructive!
If you have any questions, please feel free to send me a message! I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Have a good one!
Optionally, you can provide feedback by responding to this message.
Sources & references used in this article:
- How to achieve high-quality oocytes? The key role of myo-inositol and melatonin (SG Vitale, P Rossetti, F Corrado… – International journal of …, 2016 – hindawi.com)
- Follicular fluid content and oocyte quality: from single biochemical markers to metabolomics (A Revelli, L Delle Piane, S Casano, E Molinari… – Reproductive biology …, 2009 – Springer)
- Melatonin improves the fertilization capacity and developmental ability of bovine oocytes by regulating cytoplasmic maturation events (XM Zhao, N Wang, HS Hao, CY Li… – Journal of pineal …, 2018 – Wiley Online Library)
- Melatonin implantation improved the egg-laying rate and quality in hens past their peak egg-laying age (Y Jia, M Yang, K Zhu, L Wang, Y Song, J Wang… – Scientific reports, 2016 – nature.com)
- … of a supplementation with myo-inositol plus melatonin on oocyte quality in women who failed to conceive in previous in vitro fertilization cycles for poor oocyte quality … (V Unfer, E Raffone, P Rizzo, S Buffo – Gynecological Endocrinology, 2011 – Taylor & Francis)