How taking Fish Oil Supplements Improved/Saved my Menstrual Cycle

Disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor. Please do your own research and do what is best for you. This is based on my own experience from taking these supplements. If you have seafood allergies, this is NOT recommended. I don't typically like to openly discuss what I consider being private lady business...but I just knew this would/could help my fellow beauties out so I had to share it. 

My first encounter with fish oil supplements was at my parents home a few years ago while I was simply looking through the drawer in the kitchen. I didn't bother to do any research on the supplement because I wasn't concerned about taking fish oil. My parents, especially my mother are known for taking herbal supplements for any and everything. I grew up drinking cherry bark tea and sassafras tea for just about any and all colds and things.  We also found ourselves using aloe vera for almost everything under the sun. Finding such supplements in my parent's kitchen was/is far from strange. It is the norm, and I've made a decision to make it the norm for myself and my home.

 

My first initial thoughts were, does the supplement smell like fish? Does it taste like fish? If I ever decide to take this supplement will I give off a fishy smell? I know what you're thinking, but in my early twenties, they were genuine concerns/questions. Let me also add, I don't really eat a lot of fish. Although I am a lover of seafood (crabs, shrimp, lobster, oysters, clams, etc.) I only eat what most people may believe to be "cute" fish (Cod and Flounder). Occasionally I eat salmon, but it's so rare...it's not on my list of foods I consume often. 

 

I found myself at the top of the year deciding to take fish oil supplements as a part of my journey to becoming a healthier me from the inside out. I'm preparing for the next phase in my life before the I begin to walk in the new phase of my life. As I researched fish oil, those same questions resurfaced and I was a little hesitant, but during my research, I didn't find any of those things listed as being side effects from taking the supplements. In fact, I found there were numerous things that could be reversed, prevented, and/or treated simply from taking fish oil supplements. On the list, amongst a lot of things was its ability to help reduce painful menstrual cycles and reduce the need for pain medications while on your menstrual cycle. It was this claim alone, along with my initial reason and a few others that prompted me to take a trip to the vitamin shop and purchase my first bottle of Fish Oil Supplements. 

Benefits of Taking Fish Oil Supplements

First, let me just say, they don't smell fishy, they don't taste fishy, and I don't smell like fish. I thought I'd put that out there since I've finally discovered the answers to my own silly questions. 

Fish oil supplements are usually made from the following: Mackerel, Herring, Tuna, Halibut, Salmon, Cod Liver, Whale Blubber, and Seal Blubber. (Thankfully, no whales or seals were harmed in the construction of my fish oil supplements)

Fish Oil Supplements are believed to be a fountain of youth supplement because it can help to slow down the body's aging process by lengthening telomeres which often shorten with age. It's also known to reduce inflammation and decrease the risk of heart disease/stroke, Type 2 diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, and improve stress, anxiety and depression. 

Here's a detailed list of some other illnesses believed/proven to improve with the use of fish oil supplements

  • ADHD
  • High Cholesterol
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Eczema
  • Cancer
  • Weakened Immunity 
  • Autoimmune Disease
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Fertility 
  • Healthy Pregnancy 
  • Healthy Skin
  • Increased Energy 

Fish Oil supplements have been shown to increase fertility in women by reducing inflammation, balancing hormones, and regulating their cycles. It has been found effective in treating conditions such as PCOS and Endometriosis which can cause fertility issues. 

Fish Oil Supplements can help to prevent painful periods, breast pain, and complications associated with pregnancy such as miscarriages, High blood pressure late in pregnancy, and early deliveries.  During your menstrual cycle to prevent pain you can take Fish Oil Supplements alone or with B12 to help reduce the need for pain medications and/or improve the pain. 

If you don't desire to take the supplements you can eat the necessary amounts of Omega 3 Fatty Acids needed to correct any of the issues listed above by eating the following items regularly and consistently : 

Fatty Fish 

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Mackerel
  • Anchovies
  • Herring 
  • Sturgeon
  • Mullet
  • Blue Fish
  • Trout 
  • Menhaden 

If you don't eat at least two 3.5 ounce servings of fatty fish per week, it's best to take the fish oil supplement.

If you choose to eat the fish, it's best to eat the fish broiled or baked. Eating the fish fried eliminates the benefits of the fish and just increases the risk for such issues as heart disease and obesity.  

Nuts & Plant Oils

  • Walnut Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Soybean Oil 

Nuts & Seeds

  • Flax Seeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Pine nuts

Lastly, fish oil can help to improve your weight by aiding in weight loss. Cheers to Fish Oil and Omega 3 Fatty Acids! 

Based on my experience, (as I sit here three days in on my monthly) I have experienced little to no cramping while on my menstrual cycle. Mostly no cramping. The little cramping that I have experienced (ironically as I write this post) is bearable.  My menstrual cycles can be extremely painful and overall miserable. Before starting the supplements, I would find myself taking Motrin and/or Aleve to get through the day. I would have to take my heating pad with me to work, and/or sleep through the night with my heating pad on my stomach or back. They were pretty much a mess and yeah the breast pain was the worse. This menstrual cycle, I didn't have any breast pain/tenderness at all. I'm typically aware of when to expect my menstrual cycle (aside from the use of my period tracker) because I have bad PMS. This month, it literally "snuck up" on me and caught me by surprise. I didn't even experience my typical PMS symptoms. My mood was great, I usually get really annoyed/emotional about little things the week prior to my cycle and that didn't happen. I haven't noticed a change in the flow of my menstrual cycle per say, but the experience has been "pleasant". Based on my experience Fish Oil has held true to its claim to improve painful menstrual cycles and improving my mood (which can be a result of balancing my hormones). I can only hope that these supplements hold true to all of its claims. If you desire to improve/save your menstrual cycle try implementing Omega 3 fatty acids into your diet through foods or supplements.