Migraines: A Monthly Misery?

Women who experience migraines around the start of their period may be able to prevent them. New research has revealed important details about menstrual migraines and how to avoid them.

According to the National Headache Foundation, menstrual migraines are caused mainly by estrogen, the female sex hormone that regulates menstrual changes throughout the monthly cycle. When the levels of estrogen and progesterone change, women are more vulnerable to headaches.

A woman with migraines is most likely to have one during the two days before the start of her period and during the first three days of it. Many experts believe that the drop in estrogen that occurs before the start of a woman’s period or during the pill-free week if a woman takes combination oral contraceptives serves as a migraine trigger. Talk with your health care provider about the best treatment for you.

As with any migraine, prevention is the goal. If you suffer from menstrual migraines, keep a headache diary detailing when your headaches occur, how long they last and when your period starts. This information can help you and your doctor determine if your menstrual cycle is triggering your headaches. Understanding your menstrual headaches is the first step toward preventing them.


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