Melatonin and Infertility: Can We Improve Outcomes of Assisted Reproductive Technology – a Randomised Placebo Controlled Trial

Investigators: Dr Shavi Fernando (1), A/Prof Luk Rombauts (1,2), A/Prof Beverley Vollenhoven (1,2), Caroline Motteram (2), Dr Tiki Osianlis (1), Prof Euan Wallace (1)

1 Monash Dept Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Clayton; 2 Monash IVF, Clayton

During ART, eggs and embryos may interact negatively with oxygen molecules in a process called ‘oxidative stress’. In recent years, interest has gathered regarding the role of oxidative stress on the quality of stored eggs and embryos, potentially reducing success rates and live birth rates following ART. It is proposed that melatonin, a potent antioxidant, may help reduce the effect of oxidative stress on eggs and embryos. The aim of this randomised placebo controlled trial is to determine whether melatonin supplementation can increase serum and follicular fluid levels of melatonin, reduce oxidative stress markers and improve ART outcomes. Data will be gathered looking at oocyte number and quality, embryo number and quality, ultrasound Doppler flow to the ovaries and uterus, sleep patterns, pregnancy rates and live birth rates. If this study is successful, we would hope that melatonin would become a standard complementary therapy for all patients undergoing ART for infertility.

Reference: Fernando S, Rombauts L. Melatonin: shedding light on infertility?–A review of the recent literature. J Ovarian Res. 2014;7:98.

Reference: Fernando S, Osianlis T, Vollenhoven B, Wallace E, Rombauts L. A pilot double-blind randomised placebo-controlled dose-response trial assessing the effects of melatonin on infertility treatment (MIART): study protocol. BMJ Open. 2014;4(8):e005986.


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