Benefits of Fish Oils for Menstrual Cramps

woman with menstrual cramps holding both hands on lower stomach

Latest studies show that the fatty acids in fish oil can help reduce painful cramps, improve uterine health and balance your hormones.

Menstrual cramps can occur during your menstrual cycle and are characterized by painful cramps in the pelvic and lower abdominal regions.

The cramps are caused by the uterus contracting due to prostaglandins and other hormonal chemicals.

And studies show that women who have higher levels of prostaglandins tend to experience more painful menstrual cramps.

white bottle on side with fish oil soft gels spilling out

Where do fish oils come into the picture?

Fish oils are an excellent source of the essential fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

An April 2006 article in reports that EPA and DHA exhibit anti-inflammatory effects which help lower prostaglandin levels. Dr. William Smith, a University of Michigan biochemist, found that they produce fewer prostaglandins.

It was also discovered that the prostaglandins produced by fish oils are 2 to 50 times less active, than those made by omega 6 fatty acids.

And additional studies also show how fish oils can reduce menstrual cramps and improve uterine health…

1. Importance of Dietary Omega 3 Fatty Acids for Women

Paris, France– A review in the 2007 February issue of Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy detailed the importance of fatty acids for menstruating women.

Researchers concluded that the essential fatty acids from fish or seafood reduce or prevent PMS, lessen hot flashes associated with menopause and can help provide a healthy environment for a growing fetus.

2. Menstrual Pain Associated with Low Omega 3 Fatty Intake

Denmark– Scientists at The Aarhus University, Denmark reported that a low dietary intake of omega 3 fatty acids is linked to more severe menstrual cramps.

Scientists asked two hundred and twenty (220) Danish women about their dietary habits over a 4 day period. The women were 20 – 45 years old and were not on contraceptives nor pregnant. Results showed that women who ate higher amounts of EPA and DHA experienced less menstrual pain than women with lower dietary intakes.

3. Fish Oil Reduces Menstrual Cramps after 2 Months

Cincinnati, Ohio– A study published in the April 1996 issue of American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology showed fish oils improve menstrual symptoms in young women.

Forty-two (42) teenage girls with dysmenorrhea were split into 2 groups:

  • The first group received fish oil (1080 mg. eicosapentaenoic acid, 720 mg. docosahexaenoic acid) and 1.5 mg. of vitamin E daily for 2 months followed by a placebo for another 2 months.
  • The second group received a placebo for the first 2 months, followed by fish oil for 2 more months.

All of the women were assessed with the Cox Menstrual Symptoms (CMS) scale to measure any response to treatment. The CMS scale is used by health care professionals to assess level of menstrual symptoms.

Researchers found that women using fish oil experienced a significant reduction in menstrual symptoms.


silver spoon filled with fish oil soft gels for menstrual crampsFish oils may not be as good as diamonds, but their healthy fats can have a strong impact on how a woman’s body functions.

Studies indicate that the fatty acids in fish oils can affect the level and type of hormone levels responsible for the severity and frequency of menstrual cramps.

And research published in the 2004 Issue of Journal of Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey concluded that these healthy fats may help prevent against preeclampsia, menopausal problems, postmenopausal osteoporosis and even reduce the risk for certain breast cancers.

If you’re looking for a natural way to influence your hormonal environment, fish oils may provide a gentle, yet effective way to calm and balance your body.

If you’re concerned about ingesting excessive mercury from eating fish, you could use a pharmaceutical-grade fish oil.

These are specialized supplements that have undergone a unique manufacturing process that provides high concentrations of omega 3 fatty acids with the lowest possible amounts of mercury, PCB’s dioxins and other contaminants.

Search for Pharmaceutical Grade Fish Oil at

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