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Migraines: A Monthly Misery?

Women who have migraines around the start of their period may be able to prevent them. Migraine headaches linked to menstrual periods are generally 1 of 3 types:

  • Migraines that happen only during menstruation and at no other time

  • Migraines that happen at other times, but are worse during menstruation

  • Migraines that happen before menstruation begins, in the premenstrual phase

Menstrual migraines are caused by changes in the female sex hormones that control menstrual changes during the monthly cycle. When the levels of estrogen and progesterone change, women are more likely to have headaches. Birth control medicines that contain hormones can also be linked to these headaches.

As with any migraine, prevention is the goal. If you have menstrual migraines, keep a headache diary. Write down when your headaches happen, how long they last, and when your period starts. This information can help you and your healthcare provider figure out if your menstrual cycle is triggering your headaches. Understanding your menstrual headaches is the first step toward preventing them.

Online Medical Reviewer: Joseph Campellone MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Date Last Reviewed: 5/1/2023
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