What is Melatonin and how does it affect my fertility? | A chinese medicine perspective

Melatonin and fertility

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Improve your sleep to improve your melatonin levels to improve your fertility

Did you know your sleep can impact your fertility?

When you sleep well (especially relating to the proper times of sleep/your circadian rhythm) your body produces an abundant supply of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland, and its main function is to help us go to sleep and stay asleep.

However research also suggests that melatonin impacts both the eggs and sperm:

“Melatonin could become an important medication for improving ovarian function and oocyte quality, and open new opportunities for the management of several ovarian diseases.” From Tamura and Colleagues (2009) Melatonin and the ovary: physiological and pathophysiological implications, in Fertility & Sterility. Link here.

“There were statistically significant improvements in post‐operative parameters of semen analyses (sperm concentration, motility and proportions of normally formed spermatozoa), peripheral blood inhibin B and total antioxidant capacity in melatonin group compared with placebo group. In conclusion, melatonin therapy adds extra benefit to varicecelectomy in terms of sperm parameters, peripheral blood inhibin B and total antioxidant capacity” From Lu and Colleagues (2018) Melatonin therapy adds extra benefit to varicecelectomy in terms of sperm parameters, hormonal profile and total antioxidant capacity: A placebo‐controlled, double‐blind trial, in Andrologia. Link here.

Basically, melatonin improves ovary function and egg quality, as well as sperm.

We see patients in our clinic who have been prescribed melatonin by their doctor/specialist.

But you create your own melatonin at night when you respond to normal sleep cues and sleep well at the appropriate times.

So it’s not so much about how many hours of sleep you’re getting, but that you’re getting enough sleep in the hours before midnight.

A good sleep routine with healthy pre-bedtime habits (no screen time and dimming artificial lights if you have difficulty falling asleep) is crucial not just for your general well-being but could potentially be the missing link in why you’re not getting pregnant.

Did you know many of our patients report an improvement in their quality of sleep when they start seeing us? Call us today for an appointment!