Dysmenorrhea Supplementation Suggestions


Fish Oil – take 1 cap, twice daily with food every day.

Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids reduces the symptom intensity of primary dysmenorrhea. Supplementation of these fats was sufficient enough to decrease the amount of ibuprofen needed in study participants. 1

  1. Rahbar N, Asgharzadeh N, Ghorbani R. Effect of omega-3 fatty acids on intensity of primary dysmenorrhea.   Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2012 Apr;117(1):45-7. Epub 2012 Jan 17.


Magnesium (take the glycinate or taurate form) – ~360mg starting one day before menstruation for 3 days

Magnesium plays a role in controlling muscle tone and could be important in preventing menstrual cramps.1, 2 Magnesium supplements have been reported in preliminary and double-blind European research to reduce symptoms of dysmenorrhea.3, 4, 5 In one of these double-blind trials, women took 360 mg per day of magnesium for three days beginning on the day before menses began.6

  1. Martignoni E, Nappi G, Facchinetti F, Gennazzani AR. Magnesium in gynecological disorders. Gyn Endocrinol 1988;2(Suppl 2):26 [abstract].
  2. Benassi L, Barletta FP, Baroncini L, et al. Effectiveness of magnesium pidolate in the prophylactic treatment of primary dysmenorrhea. Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol 1992;19:176–9.
  3. Fontana-Klaiber H, Hogg B. Therapeutic effects of magnesium in dysmenorrhea. Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax 1990;79:491–4 [in German].
  4. Seifert B, Wagler P, Dartsch S, et al. Magnesium—a new therapeutic alternative in primary dysmenorrhea. Zentralbl Gynakol 1989;111:755–60 [in German].
  5. Fontana-Klaiber H, Hogg B. Therapeutic effects of magnesium in dysmenorrhea. Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax 1990;79:491–4 [in German].


Vitamin C – 500mg twice per day for the length of your cycle

Antioxidants have been shown to reduce menstrual related pain.

  1. Santanam N, Kavtaradze N, Murphy A, Dominguez C, Parthasarathy S. Antioxidant supplementation reduces endometriosis-related pelvic pain in humans. Transl Res. 2012 May 31.


Vitamin D – 4000IU per day with food

Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased pain for a variety of disorders including dysmenorrhea.

Lasco A, Catalano A, Benvenga S.  Improvement of primary dysmenorrhea caused by a single oral dose of vitamin D: results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.  Arch Intern Med. 2012 Feb 27;172(4):366-7.


Vitamin E – 400 to 600 IU of vitamin E a day for five days, beginning two days before menstruation.

In a double-blind trial, supplementation with 500 IU of vitamin E per day for two months, beginning two days before menstruation and continuing for three days after the onset of menstruation, was significantly more effective than a placebo at relieving menstrual pain.1 Similar benefits were seen in four-month double-blind trial using 400 IU per day, beginning two days before the expected start of menstruation and continuing through the first three days of bleeding.2

  1. Ziaei S, Faghihzadeh S, Sohrabvand F, et al. A randomised placebo-controlled trial to determine the effect of vitamin E in treatment of primary dysmenorrhoea. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 2001;108:1181–3.
  2. Ziaei S, Zakeri M, Kazemnejad A. A randomised controlled trial of vitamin E in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhoea. BJOG 2005;112:466–9.