Evening primrose oil is a form of linoleic acid that's available as an over-the-counter supplement. Many women use evening primrose oil to try to manage breast pain and other symptoms of fibrocystic breast changes. If there is no improvement after two to three months, discontinue using it.
Although the exact mechanism is unknown, some experts speculate that evening primrose oil may replace linoleic acid in women who are deficient in this essential fatty acid. Restoring linoleic acid levels may make their breast tissues less sensitive to hormonal influences.
Mar. 08, 2013
- Non-cancerous breast conditions. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/healthy/findcancerearly/womenshealth/non-cancerousbreastconditions/non-cancerous-breast-conditions-fibrocystic-changes. Accessed Feb. 14, 2013.
- McPhee SJ, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment 2010. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Medical; 2010. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=8538. Accessed Feb. 14, 2013.
- Frequently asked questions. Gynecologic problems FAQ026. Benign breast problems and conditions. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq026.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130214T1505295029. Accessed Feb. 14, 2013.
- Golshan M, et al. Breast pain. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 14, 2013.
- Pruthi S, et al. Vitamin E and evening primrose oil for management of cyclical mastalgia: A randomized pilot study. Alternative Medicine Review. 2010;15:59.
- Understanding breast changes: A health guide for women. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/screening/understanding-breast-changes. Accessed Feb. 14, 2013.
- Ferrara A. Benign breast disease. Radiologic Technology. 2011;82:447M.
- Sabel MS. Breast masses and other common breast problems. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 14, 2013.
- Evening Primrose oil. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Feb. 14, 2013.
- Gallenberg MM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 19, 2013.
- Pruthi S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. Rochester, Minn. Feb. 25, 2013.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.