Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It plays a vital role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle, so you can sleep and wake up at the correct times of the day.
On the other hand, birth control is a drug that prevents women from getting pregnant. These come in different forms, like pills, patches, and injectables. But we’ll focus on its oral form — pills.
These two drugs are commonly taken by women. But have you ever wondered if melatonin and birth control interact with each other?
In this article, we’ll explore whether or not it’s safe to take melatonin with your preferred method of birth control, as well as how the two could interact with one another.
Table of Contents
Melatonin and Birth Control: What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is commonly used as a sleep aid to treat insomnia or jet lag. This supplement also helps reset the body’s internal clock for people who work night shifts or travel frequently. 
Different melatonin supplements are available over the counter in many countries, including the United States, and are generally considered safe when taken in appropriate doses.
If you take birth control, you should talk to your doctor about how to help you sleep. Birth control pills boost natural melatonin production. These may cause dangerously high melatonin levels when taken in combination with melatonin.
Melatonin can also interact with other drugs, such as blood thinners, immunosuppressants, and diabetes drugs.
Melatonin and Birth Control: What are Birth Control Pills?
Birth control pills, or oral contraceptives, are medications used to prevent pregnancy.
They contain synthetic hormones that work to prevent ovulation, thicken cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the egg, and thin the lining of the uterus to make it less hospitable to a fertilized egg.
Birth control pills are one of the most popular, affordable, and easiest forms of contraception and are available over the counter or by prescription from healthcare providers.
Can You Take Melatonin with Birth Control Pills?
No evidence suggests that taking melatonin and birth control pills together can cause harm. In addition, there is no proof that melatonin supplements harm the efficacy of contraceptives.
However, there is evidence from scientific research that melatonin supplements and hormones involved in childbirth interact with one another. But it’s still unclear how they interact with one another.
Research on hormonal birth control and natural melatonin levels has also shown contradicting results. While overall melatonin levels remained stable, one research revealed that oral contraceptive usage disrupted the natural 24-hour cycle of the hormone. 
Melatonin levels in women on birth control were comparable to those in women who did not use birth control, according to another research. 
Melatonin and Birth Control: How Long Does Melatonin Cancel Out Birth Control?
There’s no definitive answer to how long melatonin cancels out birth control, as it can vary depending on several factors.
Plus, clinical trials on this subject need to be revised. Some studies have suggested that taking melatonin may affect birth control, while others have found no significant effect.
Therefore, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider if you’re concerned about how melatonin may affect your birth control.
Factors That May Affect the Interaction Between Melatonin and Birth Control
Several things can affect how melatonin and birth control work together, they are the following:
- Dose of each drug
- Person’s metabolism
- Other drugs or supplements people may be taking
Pregnant or nursing women should avoid using melatonin and instead see their doctor about safe alternatives to the drug and other means of getting to sleep or preventing pregnancy.
According to research, melatonin may help control menstruation by decreasing the production of the hormones estradiol and progesterone. 
Side Effects of Taking Melatonin and Birth Control Pills Together
Even though there is no clear evidence that taking melatonin and birth control pills together is unsafe, there are some possible side effects to be aware of.
Melatonin may cause dizziness, headaches, and stomach distress in some individuals, while birth control pills can alter a woman’s menstrual cycle and have other hormonal effects in others.
Talk to your doctor if you have any uncomfortable side effects.
Precautions When Taking Melatonin and Birth Control Pills Together
You can reduce the risk of adverse reactions while using melatonin and birth control tablets together.
Among them include talking to your doctor about any additional drugs or supplements you’re taking and spacing out your prescription doses throughout the day. You must also monitor your symptoms and inform your doctor of any changes.
Alternatives to Melatonin for Sleep and Birth Control Pills for Contraception
If you’re looking for an alternative to melatonin for sleep, several options are available. These include cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga, and prescription sleep aids such as benzodiazepines or non-benzodiazepine hypnotics.
For birth control pills, several options are available, including condoms, diaphragms, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and hormonal implants or injections.
It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about which options may be best for you based on your needs and preferences.
Bottom Line: Do Melatonin and Birth Control Interact?
While there is no definitive evidence to suggest that taking melatonin and birth control pills together is unsafe, there may be some potential interactions to be aware of.
Therefore, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about any concerns and monitor your symptoms carefully if you’re taking both medications.
Plus, many alternatives are available for both sleep aids and contraception, so it’s important to explore all of your options before making a decision.
Before beginning treatment with a new medicine or supplement, you should always consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.
Editorial References And Fact-Checking
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Melatonin: What you need to know. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Retrieved March 22, 2023, from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/melatonin-what-you-need-to-know
- Reinberg AE, Touitou Y, Soudant E, Bernard D, Bazin R, Mechkouri M. Oral contraceptives alter circadian rhythm parameters of cortisol, melatonin, blood pressure, heart rate, skin blood flow, transepidermal water loss, and skin amino acids of healthy young women. Chronobiol Int. 1996 Aug;13(3):199-211. doi: 10.3109/07420529609012653. PMID: 8874983.
- Brun J, Claustrat B, David M. Urinary melatonin, LH, oestradiol, progesterone excretion during the menstrual cycle or in women taking oral contraceptives. Acta Endocrinol (Copenh). 1987 Sep;116(1):145-9. doi: 10.1530/acta.0.1160145. PMID: 3661054.
- Walecka-Kapica E, Chojnacki J, Stępień A, Wachowska-Kelly P, Klupińska G, Chojnacki C. Melatonin and female hormone secretion in postmenopausal overweight women. Int J Mol Sci. 2015 Jan 5;16(1):1030-42. doi: 10.3390/ijms16011030. PMID: 25569084; PMCID: PMC4307288.