Fertility melatonin relationship – a published journal article about a Chinese medicine perspective.
Medical research is exploring the supplementation of melatonin during IVF cycles. It is primarily being researched for its antioxidant effects on the body. However, melatonin is a hormone well known for helping to set our body’s natural daily rhythm – called the circadian rhythm. Chinese medicine has a long established history of recognising this daily rhythm and observing that disruption of this rhythm can affect fertility at a number of levels. Those of us who work with patients who are struggling with fertility commonly observe that lifestyles which are out of balance with this rhythm correlate with fertility issues. Medical research also supports this observation. Clinically, and at the extreme end of the scale, women who work very variable shifts and don’t have good rhythms in their lives do seem to struggle more with fertility. At the other end of the scale however, even small changes that both men and women make in their daily routines seem to improve pregnancy and live birth rates.
What affects melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone released by the brain’s pineal gland. Its levels increase sharply in the evening to help with sleep onset and decrease as we get closer to waking. Its production cycle is largely influenced by our exposure to light. Artificial lighting can therefore be disruptive to establishing good melatonin rhythms. Elevated cortisol levels resulting from prolonged stress also affect the natural rising of melatonin levels to help with sleep onset.
How does this affect fertility?
Read the full article here