The usefulness of melatonin in the field of obstetrics and gynecology

Pharmacol Res. 2019 Sep:147:104337. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2019.104337. Epub 2019 Jul 2.


Disorders of the female reproductive system, including those associated with hormone regulation, fertility rate and fetal health, are issues of great concern worldwide. More recently, melatonin supplementation has been suggested as a therapeutic approach in gynecological practice. In both animal models and in women, melatonin supplementation suggests a therapeutic and preventative potential, effects attributed mainly to its antioxidant properties and action as hormone modulator. The aim of this literature review is to further investigate the evidence available on the effects of melatonin supplementation in animal and human studies, focusing on its potential application to gynecology. Melatonin-containing supplements are easily found in online and high street retailers, and despite its supplementation deemed to be relatively safe, no consensus has been reached on effective dosage and supplementation period. Short term supplementation studies, of up to six months, suggest that a daily posology of 2-18 mg of melatonin may have the potential to improve fertility rate, oocyte quality, maturation and number of embryos. However, the evidence available so far on the effects of melatonin supplementation covering gestational age and gestational outcomes is very scarce. Clinical trials and longer-term supplementation studies are required to assess any clinical outcome associated with melatonin supplementation in the field of gynecology.

Keywords: Antioxidant; Fertility; Gynecology; Melatonin; Reproductive system.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Gynecology
  • Humans
  • Melatonin / analogs & derivatives
  • Melatonin / therapeutic use*
  • Obstetrics
  • Ovary / drug effects
  • Ovary / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproduction / drug effects


  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Melatonin