Melatonin: shedding light on infertility?--A review of the recent literature

J Ovarian Res. 2014 Oct 21;7:98. doi: 10.1186/s13048-014-0098-y.


In recent years, the negative impact of oxidative stress on fertility has become widely recognised. Several studies have demonstrated its negative effect on the number and quality of retrieved oocytes and embryos following in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). Melatonin, a pineal hormone that regulates circadian rhythms, has also been shown to exhibit unique oxygen scavenging abilities. Some studies have suggested a role for melatonin in gamete biology. Clinical studies also suggest that melatonin supplementation in IVF may lead to better pregnancy rates. Here we present a critical review and summary of the current literature and provide suggestions for future well designed clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fertility Agents / pharmacology*
  • Fertility Agents / therapeutic use
  • Fertilization in Vitro
  • Free Radical Scavengers / pharmacology*
  • Free Radical Scavengers / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Infertility / drug therapy*
  • Infertility / metabolism
  • Melatonin / pharmacology*
  • Melatonin / therapeutic use
  • Oxidative Stress


  • Fertility Agents
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Melatonin