CINCINNATI, OHIO. Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea, menstrual pain) are the most common gynecologic complaint and the leading cause of short-term absenteeism among adolescent schoolgirls. There is compelling evidence that menstrual pain is caused by the action of inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes upon the uterus. These inflammatory compounds are derived from the omega-6 fatty acid, arachidonic acid.
AARHUS, DENMARK. Menstrual pain (menstrual cramps, dysmenorrhea) is believed to be associated with an elevated level of PG2 prostaglandins. PG2 prostaglandins are synthesized from the omega-6 fatty acid, arachidonic acid and are known to be pro-inflammatory. The formation of PG2 prostaglandins competes with the formation of PG3 prostaglandins from the omega-3 fatty acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), the main component of fish oil. PG3 prostaglandins are anti-inflammatory.