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Melatonin Impacts Endometriosis Symptoms

July 5, 2016 by ASK DR BLOOM

According to a study published in June 2013, melatonin supplementation reduces pain associated with endometriosis. The National Institutes of Health report that six to 10 percent of reproductive age women—approximately five million women—are affected by endometriosis. However, they also state that recent research suggests that the number may be significantly higher than previously estimated.

Forty females with endometriosis between 18-45 years of age received 10 mg melatonin daily or a placebo for eight weeks. The researchers evaluated the subjects for pain, sleep quality and analgesic use. Additionally, the investigators measured levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a protein that plays a role in nerve cell development and survival.

The researchers found that melatonin supplementation decreased daily pain by 39.80 percent and decreased pain with menses by 38.01 percent. The investigators also showed that melatonin supplementation improved sleep quality, reduced the risk of using analgesics by 80 percent and decreased brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels, independent of the effect on pain.

The study authors stated, “This study provides additional evidence regarding the analgesic effects of melatonin on endometriosis-associated chronic pelvic pain and melatonin’s ability to improve sleep quality. Additionally, the study revealed that melatonin modulates the secretion of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and pain through distinct mechanisms.” Reference:
This blog from the Complementary Prescriptions online newsletter,
Schwertner A, et al. Pain. 2013;6:874-81


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