One of my readers, Erin, emailed me asking if I could look into taking Melatonin for Endometriosis pain and symptoms. She had heard that it may help reduce the symptoms, pain, and maybe even the lesions themselves.
So, on goes my Research Cap and it begins!
Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the body as the light fades. Many people take Melatonin to help them fall asleep and stay asleep. It’s been coming out in studies over the past decade that Melatonin may play a role in helping reduce Endometriosis lesions and pain.
In 2008, a study was published about 25 rats that were surgically implanted with Endometriosis. Interesting enough, it found that the rats that were treated with Melatonin were found to have fewer and smaller Endometriosis lesions than rats that received nothing.
In 2010, another rat study took place, this time comparing rats who were given Melatonin to rats who were given Letrozole. Thirty rats were induced with Endometriosis, given Estrogen for 2 weeks, then surgically confirmed to have Endometriosis lesions present. Some received Letrozole for 2 weeks. Others received Melatonin for 2 weeks. They were all surgically opened up and their Endometriosis lesions were recorded and measured. The rats received another 2 weeks of Estrogen, then were finally studied. It found that the rats who received Melatonin had fewer and smaller lesions than the rats that were given Letrozole.
In 2012, Melatonin was referenced in a study about different types of pharmacological treatments of Endometriosis. It stated that past studied have shown that daily Melatonin usage had reduced the volume and size of lesions and reduced oxidative stress markers. As far a dosing goes, rats were given 10mg a day for 18-28 days. It stresses that the doses had not yet been tested on humans.
A Brazilian study published in 2013 found stated that Melatonin was thought to help Endometriosis because it’s an analgesic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory. It studied 40 women over an 8-week period. Some of them were given a placebo, and the others were given 10mg of Melatonin each day for 8 weeks. For those who took the Melatonin, 40% of them had reduced daily pain and 38% of them had reduced painful periods. They also had an improved quality of sleep.
In March 2015, a study was published discusses various doses of Melatonin given to rats that had been implanted with Endometriosis. Unfortunately, the abstract did not divulge the doses given to each rat and the results. It did; however, state that Melatonin treatment did result in the regression of lesions in the rats.
I know I’m excited to read about the possible benefits of Melatonin when it comes to Endometriosis. BUT, there’s always a “but”…
The US Department of Health and Human Services states short-term Melatonin use appears safe; however, little is known about the safety of long-term Melatonin usage since studies of long-term effects have not been conducted. Also, some people have complained of side effects while taking Melatonin: dizziness, drowsiness, headache, irritability, nausea, and stomach cramps. Many users have also complained of grogginess the next day.
Then there’s the question of dosing. What is the appropriate dose of Melatonin? A 2001 study identified the proper dose of Melatonin to help people sleep is 0.3mg per day, taken just before bed. Sleep.org stated a dose between 0.2mg and 5mg taken an hour before bed would be sufficient. For people who have sleep-wake cycle problems, they’ve taken 2-12mg of Melatonin for 4 weeks. The study of Endometriosis in women was a 10mg supplement for 8 weeks.
There are also indications that Melatonin may worsen depression, cause high blood pressure (or negate blood pressure medications), worsen bleeding in people with bleeding disorders, may interfere with immunosuppressive therapy (for organ donor patients, etc.), and may increase blood sugar levels of diabetics.
Don’t forget about the “don’t take this medication with this medication” category. Since Melatonin may be a sedative for many people, avoid taking Melatonin if you take other medications that may cause drowsiness. Some examples would include Klonopin, Ativan, Donnatal, and Ambien.
There is some concern out that that taking Melatonin may cause hormonal issues. Since Melatonin is technically a hormone created by the body, supplementing it may cause imbalances or
As always, please talk to your physician before starting any type of new regimen, whether it be pharmaceutical, supplements, diet, or lifestyle changes. I know I’ll be talking to my physician. And always understand that little is regulated in the supplements market. Do you own research and act wisely.
Do you take Melatonin for your Endometriosis? Have you noticed a difference? Please let us know by leaving a comment below!
(Updated March 27, 2019)
Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics (March 2015, Abstract) The Effects of Different Doses of Melatonin Treatment on Endometrial Implants in an Oopherectomized Rat Endometriosis Model
Dr. Tori Hudson – (May 2014, Blog) The Effect of Melatonin in the Treatment of Endometriosis
Empowered Sustenance – (June 2014, Blog) Melatonin Isn’t a Sleeping Pill: 3 Reasons to Avoid Melatonin
Fertility & Sterility (April 2008, Article) Regression of Endometrial Explants in a Rat Model of Endometriosis Treated with Melatonin
Fertility & Sterility (April 2010, Article) The Effects of Letrozole and Melatonin on Surgically Induced Endometriosis in a Rat Model: A Preliminary Study
Fertility & Sterility (Sept. 2012, Article) Pharmacologic Therapies in Endometriosis: A Systematic Review
Huffington Post (March 2016, Article) Read This if You Take Melatonin to Sleep at Night
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health – Melatonin: In Depth
PAIN – (June 2013, Abstract) Efficacy of Melatonin in the Treatment of Endometriosis: A Phase II, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial
WebMD – Melatonin
~ Again, I am a layman. I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. If curious, do your own research 😉 Validate my writings. Or challenge them. And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always. Yours ~ Lisa