Women's Wellness 5 MIN READ 193 VIEWS August 30, 2022 Read in Hindi

Is It a Good Idea to Go for Melatonin Supplements for PCOS?

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Melatonin supplements for PCOS

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder. It affects almost 20% of the women who are in their reproductive age. Hormone Replacement Therapy is an effective way to manage the condition. It is believed that Melatonin supplements help alleviate the symptoms of PCOS. But is it true? If yes, how do they help? Read on to find out.

Understanding PCOS

PCOS is a hormonal condition marked by hyperandrogenism, increased levels of the male hormone, androgen. As mentioned above, the condition is typically diagnosed in women of reproductive age, it is a commonly known cause of infertility.

Other hormones that are linked to PCOS are:

  1. Insulin
  2. Progesterone
  3. FSH and LH

Symptoms of PCOS

PCOS exhibits two or more of the following symptoms.

  1. Irregular periods 
  2. Absent periods
  3. Prolonged menstrual periods
  4. Acne 
  5. Excess growth of facial hair 
  6. Presence of cysts in the ovaries
  7. Elevated insulin levels 
  8. Darkening of skin
  9. Presence of skin tags on the neck or armpit region
  10. Difficulty getting pregnant
  11. Signs of male-pattern baldness in women
  12. Unexplained weight gain
  13. Difficulty losing weight
  14. Weight gain around the middle
  15. Pain in the pelvic region

Complications of PCOS

PCOS can be present with very mild symptoms which are not troublesome. Alternatively, they can be quite bothersome and troubling. Untreated PCOS can lead to several complications and health ailments like:

  1. Infertility
  2. Gestational diabetes
  3. Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
  4. Miscarriage or premature birth
  5. Non-alcoholic fatty liver
  6. Abnormal uterine bleeding
  7. Metabolic syndrome or conditions that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease like elevated blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels.
  8. Type 2 diabetes 
  9. Sleep apnoea
  10. Depression, anxiety, and eating disorders
  11. Endometrial cancer or cancer of the uterine lining

Being overweight or obese increases the risk of complications associated with PCOS.

Supplements for PCOS

PCOS is treated through lifestyle and dietary changes and medications. Health supplements play a crucial role in maintaining hormonal balance, supporting insulin and boosting metabolism in women with PCOS. The best supplements for PCOS are:

  1. Inositol
  2. NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine)
  3. Vitamin D
  4. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
  5. Berberine

Melatonin Supplements for PCOS

In addition to the above-mentioned supplements that typically form a part of women’s PCOS management plan, melatonin supplements are the most sought-after. Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland. Its primary role is to help maintain the circadian rhythm of the body. People who have trouble sleeping have low levels of melatonin. Melatonin supplements for sleep, therefore, form the basic line of treatment.

Melatonin is a potent antioxidant. Numerous studies unfold its anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects. The hormone also plays a crucial role in regulating blood pressure and blood glucose levels.

Melatonin supplements have also shown effective results in reducing the total testosterone levels and improving overall menstrual irregularities among women with PCOS.

Women diagnosed with PCOS often have a low fertility rate due to ovulatory dysfunction, poor quality of oocytes, and low endometrial receptivity. Melatonin supplements also help in ovarian physiology, including ovulation, follicular development, luteal function, and oocyte maturation; key aspects of assisted reproduction technology for infertile women with PCOS.

Low levels of melatonin are also involved in the pathophysiology of PCOS. Research suggests that levels of melatonin can effectively predict oocyte quality and IVF outcomes. Optimum levels of melatonin in the ovarian follicle fluid are important for healthy ovulation, follicular growth, and the quality of the oocyte. On the other hand, melatonin deficiency in follicular fluid results in decreased oocyte quality and anovulation (failure to release an egg from the ovary) in women.

How do Melatonin Supplements Improve PCOS?

According to the findings of a study, melatonin supplements, when used in combination with magnesium, helped improve metabolic functioning and hormonal blood markers related to PCOS.

For the trial, 84 women with PCOS between the ages of 18 and 40 years were randomly divided into four groups.

  1. Participants in the first group received a combination of magnesium and melatonin supplements. They were administered two 3 mg tablets of melatonin with one 250 mg magnesium oxide tablet every day.
  2. Participants in the second group received two 3 mg tablets of melatonin with a magnesium placebo every day. 
  3. Participants in the third group received one 250 mg magnesium oxide tablet with two melatonin supplement placebos every day. 
  4. Participants in the fourth group were only administered a placebo.

At the end of the eight-week study, participants taking both magnesium and melatonin supplements reported marked improvement in PCOS symptoms

There were significant changes in a range of parameters as against baseline readings. These included:

  1. Improved sleep quality 
  2. Reduced glucose homeostasis parameters 
  3. Reduced serum cholesterol levels 
  4. Reduced LDL Cholesterol 
  5. Reduced testosterone levels
  6. Reduced weight and BMI
  7. Reduced waist circumference

These changes helped improve PCOS symptoms directly.

Other Uses of Melatonin Supplements

In addition to treating PCOS symptoms, melatonin supplements are also useful for:

  1. Sleep phase syndrome
  2. Blind people with non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder
  3. Beta-blocker induced insomnia
  4. Helping reduce tumour size when used along with chemotherapy
  5. Correcting confusion and agitation after surgery
  6. Reducing pain in endometriosis, a painful uterine disorder
  7. Treating high blood pressure
  8. Improving symptoms of jet lag
  9. Helping prevent migraines
  10. Reducing anxiety before surgical procedures
  11. Preventing sunburn
  12. Improving blood platelet count
  13. Treating temporomandibular disorders or the jaw joint pain

Recommended Dosage of Melatonin Supplements 

Melatonin supplements are available in the form of melatonin gummies, melatonin tablets, and melatonin pills. One can also go in for melatonin liquids, patches, strips, and sprays. The recommended dosage of any type of melatonin supplement is between 0.3 mg and 5 mg. Melatonin supplements can be safely consumed for up to two years.

It is ideal to take a melatonin supplement an hour before bedtime. It is always better to start on melatonin supplements with the least possible dose and slowly graduate to a higher dose. Melatonin supplements are available in slow-release and fast-release forms; one must read the product label carefully before buying it.

Side Effects of Melatonin Supplements

Melatonin supplements are an over-the-counter drug and are safe for short-term use. However, common side effects of melatonin pills include:

  1. Daytime drowsiness
  2. Low mood
  3. Irritability
  4. Stomach pain
  5. Headache
  6. Dizziness

Special Precautions and Warnings for Using Melatonin Supplements

The use of melatonin supplements is not recommended in:

  1. Pregnant women
  2. Breastfeeding mothers
  3. Children (unless there is a medical need)
  4. People with bleeding disorders
  5. People with depression
  6. People with high blood pressure
  7. People with seizure disorders
  8. People who are transplant recipients

Drug Interactions

Melatonin supplements are known to cause mild to moderate drug interaction with:

  1. Birth control pills
  2. Antidiabetic drugs
  3. Immunosuppressants
  4. Anticoagulant or Antiplatelet drugs
  5. Sedative drugs
  6. Medicines metabolised in the liver
  7. Antihypertensive drugs
  8. Anticonvulsants

Conclusion

PCOS is a common endocrine disorder. It is marked by impaired hormonal production in women who are in their reproductive ages. While the condition afflicts almost 20% of the women in the age bracket 16-50 years, the symptoms may remain mild and without much trouble. Lifestyle changes, dietary alterations, and hormone replacement therapy are the best ways to tackle PCOS symptoms. 

Melatonin supplements, when used by women with PCOS, help reduce PCOS symptoms and improve IVF outcomes significantly. Although melatonin supplements are available over-the-counter, they must be used on medical advice. As melatonin is an active sedative drug, it has a range of side effects and drug interactions that must be carefully handled.

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