Shape Magazine: Ob-gyns break down everything you need to know about melatonin and birth control.
Currently, research looking into the question “does melatonin cancel out birth control” is sparse, but it would be unlikely, says Sophia Yen, M.D., M.P.H., the co-founder and CEO of Pandia Health, a birth control delivery company. Amy Roskin, J.D., M.D., the chief medical officer of The Pill Club, agrees: “Melatonin doesn’t impact hormonal birth control’s efficacy at all,” she says.
Oral melatonin supplements (e.g. pills, gummies, and drops) are first metabolized by the liver — the same organ that processes oral contraceptives — so there is a possibility that they may interact with the birth control there, but again, it’s improbable, says Dr. Yen.
And other forms of birth control definitely won’t be affected by the sleep aid. “Because the patch, the ring, the IUD, the implant, and the shot don’t go through the liver, there should be no effect on those,” explains Dr. Yen.
In fact, the opposite may be true: Hormonal birth control pills appear to raise the amount of melatonin the body naturally produces, according to the National Library of Medicine. And taking an oral contraceptive along with a melatonin supplement may strengthen its sedative effect and raise your risk of experiencing side effects, such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, and drowsiness, per the Mayo Clinic. Simply put, “taking melatonin and other sleep aids on top of birth control can have a larger-than-desired impact on melatonin production, as birth control naturally increases melatonin production in the body,” explains Dr. Roskin.