The peptide hormone relaxin has numerous roles both within and independent of pregnancy and is often thought of as a "pleiotropic hormone." Relaxin targets several tissues throughout the body, and has many functions associated with extracellular matrix remodeling and the vasculature. This review considers the potential therapeutic applications of relaxin in cervical ripening, in vitro fertilization, preeclampsia, acute heart failure, ischemia-reperfusion, and cirrhosis. We first outline the animal models used in preclinical studies to progress relaxin into clinical trials and then discuss the findings from these studies. In many cases, the positive outcomes from preclinical animal studies were not replicated in human clinical trials. Therefore, the focus of this review is to evaluate the various animal models used to develop relaxin as a potential therapeutic and consider the limitations that must be addressed in future studies. These include the use of human relaxin in animals, duration of relaxin treatment, and the appropriateness of the clinical conditions being considered for relaxin therapy.