How Effective Is Evening Primrose Oil for PMS?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 23 January 2020
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Some women get such extreme premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, that they look into natural treatments, such as evening primrose oil. This type of herbal supplement is known for relieving various symptoms of PMS. For example, it can make mood swings less severe and less common, while also reducing bloating and cramping. It can also reduce inflammation, treating breast tenderness, which is often a major cause of discomfort in some women. Heavy bleeding and skin breakouts can also be minimized when using evening primrose oil for PMS.

Many women complain of mood swings, irritability, and depression both before and during their period. This can cause them to be less productive at work or school since they are too irritated, angry, or sad to concentrate. It can also compromise their relationships with others, who may not want to be around them during mood swings. Therefore, women struggling with mood swings and depression may use evening primrose oil.

A number of women experience severe cramping during their period, forcing them to stay home from school or work, using heating pads and various medications to get relief. Such women may consider using evening primrose oil for PMS symptoms like painful cramping, as it can reduce the severity of it. This herbal supplement can also reduce bloating, which is an issue that often makes it difficult for women to fit into their clothes just before and during their period.


The stomach is not the only body part that may become large and uncomfortable during the menstrual cycle, as breast tenderness may also occur. This symptom causes the chest to become painful and bigger than usual, but evening primrose oil can reduce the swelling. The use of evening primrose oil for PMS symptoms like breast tenderness can result in the ability to change clothes or work out without pain in the breasts.

Another issue that some women deal with during their period is prolonged or heavy bleeding, which evening primrose oil is known for treating. It can also reduce spotting and the overall amount of blood that is lost during the period, which is important in preventing anemia or the feeling of weakness due to excessive blood loss. Additionally, it is known for treating both skin rashes and acne, which is helpful since many women experience breakouts just before their period. Using evening primrose oil for PMS, therefore, can result in relief of various symptoms that cause discomfort or annoyance during the menstrual cycle.


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Post 3

@simrin-- Evening primrose oil (EPO) has been proven to help with only one PMS symptom and that is breast tenderness. So I would not count on it to help with your migraines.

I personally don't think that women should use EPO for PMS because EPO has blood-thinning effects. So if it is taken in high doses and close to menstruation, it can cause very heavy bleeding. It can also be dangerous if it's taken with any other blood-thinning medication or supplement like aspirin or fish oil. So the risks outweigh the evening primrose oil benefits.

I'm not a doctor but I think there are better and safer alternatives out there for PMS than EPO. Hops tea, for example, is a great PMS remedy for people who don't have high blood pressure. Eating a balanced and healthy diet and treating any hormonal disorders are also better ways to fight PMS symptoms.

Post 2

@simrin-- Yes, evening primrose oil supplements will definitely help with migraines caused by PMS.

I've been taking evening primrose oil for PMS for a few years now. In my experience, it helps with almost all PMS symptoms like irritability, temper, pain, bloating and migraines. I usually take it when my PMS symptoms start to show up and take the recommended dose daily until my period starts.

I think some women respond better to evening primrose oil than others though. For example, they work very well for me but my sister said that they didn't help much.

I do think it's worth a try though. I've never experienced evening primrose oil side effects.

Post 1

Like most women, I suffer from PMS as well. Painful cramps and migraines are my major problems, especially migraines. My migraines start one week before my period and usually last all day. Do evening primrose oil capsules help with migraines caused by PMS?

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