While more women are waiting to get pregnant, many after age 40, they may face age-related fertility issues. It’s believed that melatonin can help.
Melatonin and Age-Related Fertility Issues
Research provides strong evidence that melatonin can protect a woman’s eggs from damage that naturally comes with age. Scientists looked at female babies in Kunming, China after giving them melatonin added to water. Over the course of six months to one year, it was determined that the melatonin lowered the effects of ovarian aging and improved quantity and quality.
Female mice were also examined after being fed melatonin. The researchers noticed that they, too, had a reduction of mitochondrial oxidative damage caused by free radicals. They concluded that melatonin had shown protection against age-related fertility issues.
Melatonin and the Circadian Rhythm
Melatonin is a hormone that naturally occurs in the body and is released by the pineal gland. It’s responsible for helping the body prepare to fall asleep and get a restful sleep. Melatonin controls the circadian rhythm in sleep, which is highly beneficial for a variety of physiological functions, including the ability to successfully conceive.
When the circadian rhythm is functioning normally, it gives you a better chance when it comes to quality eggs and sperm alike. While the age of the potential parents may come into play, melatonin can help in terms of the quality of their reproductive cells. In addition, in order to sustain a healthy pregnancy, a woman needs a hospitable environment in which a fertilized egg can implant. Melatonin can also help protect the embryo from free radicals that can damage DNA. This is especially relevant in the earliest stages of pregnancy to ensure the development of a healthy baby.
Aging and Women’s Eggs
As a woman grows older, a natural process occurs in the body that results in age-related fertility issues. After the age of 35, a woman’s fertility naturally begins to decline, resulting in more difficulty conceiving and raising the chances of potential problems if pregnancy occurs. In addition to aging itself, it’s believed that environmental factors can also play a part in this area and reduce the quality of a woman’s eggs.
Melatonin is responsible for the internal clock that all people have. This is responsible for the sleep-wake cycle. In other words, if you feel sleepy by 11 p.m. each night and wake up naturally at 8 a.m. each morning, you have a regular circadian rhythm. Generally speaking, the body naturally produces more melatonin when it’s dark rather than when it’s light outside. Of course, the human body can also be tricked into producing less melatonin to function at optimal performance. For example, people who work night shifts may produce less melatonin and have sleep difficulties that can adversely affect their fertility.
Likewise, if a person is exposed to more light during the nighttime hours, it can result in less melatonin being produced by the body. In women, melatonin controls the reproductive process in a variety of ways, including controlling the menstrual cycle, determining when menopause begins and affecting the quality of her eggs during her reproductive years.
Melatonin and the Ovaries
Before a woman ovulates, her ovaries secrete a fluid that is rich in melatonin. The ovaries also contain receptors for melatonin, which are essential for their function. Melatonin plays a large role in the development of eggs and how they function. If a woman has good levels of melatonin in the ovaries, it can prevent problems such as premature ovarian failure, one of the leading causes of early menopause.
To combat age-related fertility issues, it’s important for women to regularly exercise and consume a healthy diet. It’s also advised to avoid using electronic devices at least two hours before bedtime as they can disrupt sleep and even cause sleep-related disorders. Putting aside devices that emit light can better promote a normal sleep-wake cycle. Lights with blue or white hues should also be avoided due to their ability to stunt the production of melatonin. Instead, warm colors like red, orange or yellow should be used.
You can also take melatonin supplements to improve age-related fertility issues. Always talk with your doctor before taking them or any other supplement.