Melatonin is one of the most common supplements out there. It aids in helping you fall asleep faster and stay asleep through the night. Millions of people who suffer from insomnia take melatonin, sometimes on a nightly basis for weeks at a time.
In addition, hormonal birth control is just as—if not more—common, with millions of women on The Pill or some other form of birth control. So this begs the question: How do common supplements, such as melatonin, affect birth control if patients take them simultaneously? Does melatonin cancel out birth control?
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is commonly known as a “sleeping medication” that helps with insomnia, but did you know that this ingredient is a naturally occurring hormone your body produces? Our brains produce melatonin every day when we’re exposed to darkness and around the time we go to sleep every night. As part of your natural circadian rhythm, melatonin is what helps you feel sleepy and lets your body know it’s time to go to bed. If your body does not produce enough melatonin, you likely have trouble sleeping and feel awake and alert at nighttime.
Synthetic melatonin supplements are over-the-counter, and anyone can purchase them if they have issues with falling or staying asleep. For example, some people use melatonin supplements for jet lag, delayed sleep-wake phase disorder, some sleep disorders that children experience, and anxiety before surgery. Because melatonin is a hormone, many women wonder if taking this supplement counteracts or “cancels out” the hormones that birth control streams into the body. If you take hormonal birth control and are concerned if melatonin is causing negative effects, you should know some important info.
How Does Melatonin Affect Birth Control?
Some studies show that the hormones progesterone and estrogen in a combined birth control pill can help promote sleep. Therefore, if you’re taking hormonal birth control and melatonin, you may experience more pronounced sleep-related effects, such as heightened feelings of sleepiness during the day and other side effects of melatonin such as:
- Headaches and dizziness
- Feeling irritable
- Dry mouth
- Dry or itchy skin
- Pain the limbs
- Night sweats
- Strange dreams
- Blurry vision
- Fainting or feeling faint
- Blood in the urine
This is only a partial list of all the possible side effects of melatonin, so make sure to talk to your healthcare provider before taking melatonin, birth control, or both at the same time.
So, does melatonin cancel out birth control? The short answer is “not likely.” Some studies also show that taking melatonin could boost fertility—but only slightly. Scientists still need to conduct further research on this topic to really determine how hormonal birth control and melatonin affect each other.
However, it is highly unlikely that taking melatonin while on birth control will “cancel out” your contraceptive and cause you to become pregnant. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so always talk to your doctor before committing to a supplement or medication if you are already on other medications and supplements.
Dr. Fox’s years of experience in the field has allowed her to construct a devoted group of professionals who will go the extra mile to ensure their patients are completely satisfied after each appointment. Our team never hesitates to answer any questions a patient may have as thoroughly as possible and work with each patient to find solutions to any issues they may be experiencing.
Whether you are searching for a dependable OB/GYN specialist for routine gynecological care or a knowledgeable practitioner to perform a pelvic reconstructive surgery, Dr. Susan Fox’s Center for Women is your most secure option. Your wellness is of the utmost importance to us, and we will do everything within our power to keep our patients happy and healthy.