Good sow reproductive performance and piglet survival are essential for the profitability of the pig industry. Based on basic research of fatty acid and endocrine metabolism, it has been suggested that dietary supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) could enhance reproductive outcome. However, proper requirements for these nutrients in sow diets have not been established. This review examines the literature on the effect of n-3 PUFA in the maternal diet on sow reproduction and piglet performance. Few reported studies have included biochemical analyses, e.g. eicosanoid concentrations or gene expression data, which could help elucidate any link between dietary n-3 PUFA supplementation and reproduction. Additionally, most studies used relatively low numbers of pigs, limiting the validity of the conclusions which can be drawn. In pregnant pigs, supplementing with n-3 PUFA has not been shown to increase significantly the number of embryos (in gilts) or (in most studies) the total number of piglets born (live and/or stillborn), but may prolong gestation, although the literature is not consistent. Most studies found no effect of n-3 PUFA on piglet birth weight, although positive effects on piglet vitality and pre- and post-weaning growth have been reported. In contrast to the impact during pregnancy, low amounts of n-3 PUFA in the lactation diet may increase litter size in the subsequent gestation.