Struggling with sexual dysfunction may be heavy on women at any age. Yet, when such problems appear during menopause, they may become an even bigger burden as women enter an unfamiliar life stage and the end of their reproductive years.
While melatonin is mainly known for regulating sleep, a trial conducted at the Iranian Shiraz University of Medical Sciences aimed to study the effects of melatonin on sexual dysfunction on postmenopausal women.
Participants were 199 postmenopausal women, seeking help for sexual dysfunction. To evaluate the effects of melatonin for sexual dysfunction, researchers randomly assigned women to two groups.
Those in the intervention group were provided with tablets containing 3 mg melatonin, while women in the control group were given matching placebo tablets. The treatment consisted of taking one tablet per night (between 6pm and 9pm) for three months in a row.
Before, during, and after the study, researchers measured the outcomes using Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and Goldberg General Health Questionnaire (GHQ).
At the end of the study, mean sexual function scores increased in both groups, with a much higher increase observed in women taking melatonin (8.23 vs. 3.44).
Slight increases in sexual function scores are most likely due to the psychological effects of the placebo tablets.
Women in both groups reported mild side effects, such as drowsiness, nausea, headache, and vomiting.
What Does It Mean?
The results of this clinical trial have demonstrated that melatonin can significantly improve sexual function in postmenopausal women, although the exact mechanism behind these effects is not well understood.
As an added benefit, melatonin can benefit women in the menopause transition by relieving sleep problems, which are another common symptom of that life stage.1
- Nursing and Midwifery Studies. (2017). The effect of melatonin on the sexual function among postmenopausal women: A randomized placebo-controlled trial. Retrieved December 2, 2020 from https://www.nmsjournal.com/article.asp?issn=2322-1488;year=2017;volume=6;issue=4;spage=149;epage=155;aulast=Parandavar
- Sleep Foundation. (2020). Melatonin and Sleep. Retrieved December 2, 2020 from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/melatonin