Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Intensity of Primary Dysmenorrhea

Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on the
Intensity of Primary Dysmenorrhea

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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FROM:   Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2012 (Apr);   117 (1):   4547

Rahbar N, Asgharzadeh N, Ghorbani R.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology,
Amir-al-Momenin Hospital,
Faculty of Medicine,
Semnan University of Medical Sciences,
Semnan, Iran.

OBJECTIVE:   To examine whether dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids relieved symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea.

METHODS:   Women aged 18-22 years with primary dysmenorrhea were enrolled in a double-blind crossover study. Women assigned to group 1 (n=47) received 1 omega-3 capsule daily for 3 months, followed by placebo for 3 months. Women in group 2 (n=48) received placebo for 3 months, followed by omega-3 for 3 months. A washout period was performed in both groups. Participants used 400mg of ibuprofen as a rescue dose if severe menstrual pains were experienced.

RESULTS:   A marked reduction in pain intensity was observed after 3 months of treatment with omega-3 fatty acids (P<0.05). Women who received omega-3 fatty acids required fewer rescue doses than women who received placebo (P<0.05). The mean numbers of ibuprofen tablets used after 3 months with omega-3 fatty acids were 4.32.1 (group 1) and 3.22.5 (group 2); the mean numbers of tablets used after 3 months of placebo were 5.32.2 (group 1) and 6.02.6 (group 2) (P=0.001 for both).

CONCLUSION:   Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids reduced the symptom intensity of primary dysmenorrhea. Supplementation efficacy was sufficient to decrease the ibuprofen rescue dose.

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