Manual Migraine in Women

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The connection between migraine and hormones Many women report migraine headaches around the time of their menstrual cycle.

Treating hormonal migraine Fortunately, there are ways to help reduce or prevent headaches in women whose migraine has a strong hormonal component. Font Size. Meet the Moderators. Spotlight On: Treating Migraine with Meditation.


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Pathophysiology

Keeping a diary for three months is a helpful way to see if there is any link between your migraine, your periods and your menopausal symptoms. After three months you can review your diary and see if your migraine can be managed better.


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It is helpful to take your diary to show your GP so that you can discuss the best course of action to manage your migraine and your menopause. There is little research evidence to be found on the effects of HRT on migraine in women. It can help some women but may aggravate it for others. HRT is not suitable or necessary for every woman, nor is it a problem free treatment. If you decided to try HRT it is important to try it for three months to give your body the time to find its balance. Being a woman with migraine is not in itself a reason to avoid HRT although other health issues may need to be considered such as the incidence of breast cancer in your family.

HRT if taken in a way that suits you with the right dose can often help peri-menopausal migraine. If you need HRT for menopausal symptoms but develop headaches as a result of the treatment managing your headaches can be difficult. It is not, however, impossible. You will need to work with your medical practitioner to find the right dose and the right hormone balance.

Also, by trying different methods of taking HRT you can help to find the best course of treatment for you.

Spotlight On: Migraine in Women

There are many different types of HRT available and the effect on migraine can vary depending on the type used. So, for example, you may find that switching from pills to patches improves your headaches. Non-oral forms of HRT provide the most stable levels of hormone and are usually better for women with migraine. These can be in the form of a skin patch or gel which you rub on your skin. If one type does not suit you, it is well worth trying another.

The connection between migraine and hormones

HRT containing the lowest dose of oestrogen that will effectively control your menopausal symptoms and produce the most stable levels of oestrogen should be used if your migraine becomes worse following HRT. There is no research based evidence to suggest that women who have migraine and are using HRT have an increased risk of having a stroke ischemic CVA.

Most doctors recommend that you start HRT around the time of the menopause and take it only for a few years. It can have the benefit of reducing the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. If you are experiencing menopausal symptoms which are distressing it is worth remembering that these and your migraine can be helped by regular gentle exercise and a healthy diet.

This can also help protect you against other diseases such as heart disease and osteoporosis. Whilst, there is still little scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of complementary medicine, there are a wide variety of complementary and alternative treatments available to help relieve menopausal symptoms. It is important to remember that both conventional and herbal medicines can have side effects and may interact with other herbs and conventional medicines.

When serotonin or estrogen levels change, the result for some is a migraine. Serotonin levels may affect both sexes, while fluctuating estrogen levels affect women only.

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Why do women get more migraines? – Science & research news | Frontiers

For women, estrogen levels naturally vary over the life cycle, with increases during fertile years and decreases afterwards. Women of childbearing age also experience monthly changes in estrogen levels. Migraines in women are often associated with these fluctuating hormone levels and may explain why women are more likely to have migraines than men. Some research suggests that when estrogen levels rise and then fall, contractions in blood vessels may be set off.

This leads to throbbing pain. Other data suggest that lower levels of estrogen make facial and scalp nerves more sensitive to pain. People who get migraines may be able to identify triggers that seem to kick off the symptoms.