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Menstrual Migraines and the Connection Between Headaches and Hormones

31 August, 2020 Manisha Ailneni

Menstrual migraines generally occur in women before or during menstruation. The fluctuation in hormones causes these types of headaches. Usually, women get menstrual migraines 3 days before their period to 3 days after it starts. If you get headaches right around your period, it is due to the hormonal changes and you are not alone.

As female hormones and migraines are linked, women are 3 times more likely to get migraines than men. The hormones, estrogen, and progesterone play a vital role in the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause, etc. They may also affect the headache-related chemicals in the brain. While menstrual headaches occur during menstruation, other hormonal headaches can occur during pregnancy, menopause, and when there is a change in hormones because of certain medications.

Some home remedies may help you for menstrual migraine relief but if you get frequent hormonal headaches, it is better to consult your doctor and take necessary medication. You can buy prescription drugs online Delhi from online pharmacies to get genuine and affordable Medicines.

Menstrual Migraines Symptoms:

Menstrual or hormonal migraines are similar to the regular migraines. It brings a throbbing pain on one side of the head and also includes sensitivity to light, nausea, or vomiting. Some of the other menstrual migraines symptoms are,

  • Severe headache
  • Fatigue
  • Acne
  • Joint pain
  • Decreased urination
  • Constipation
  • Bigger appetite or loss of appetite
  • Food cravings

How Do Hormone levels affect migraines?

Menstruation: Around 60% of women having regular migraines are affected by menstrual migraines. Right before your period, the two female hormones level, estrogen, and progesterone level drop in the body. Estrogen controls the chemical in the brain which affects the sensation of pain. This drastic change can bring throbbing headaches.

Pregnancy: During the first trimester, the estrogen level in the body significantly raises. Many women experience their migraines get better or complete absence of migraines after the third month of pregnancy. But they often start after the baby born. Even if the headaches persist, do not take the drugs that affect the baby. Talk to your doctor and take OTC pain relievers like acetaminophen, which is safe.

Perimenopause: Perimenopause is a few months to four years of the period before the actual menopause stage. During this time, estrogen levels go on a roller-coaster ride. Generally, women also get both tension headaches and hormonal headaches at this time.

Menopause: Once the periods stop naturally, you will probably have fewer migraines. For many women, menopause brings an end to hormonal headaches. Women who go into menopause due to the removal of the uterus and ovaries with surgery will have more problems with migraines than women who go into menopause naturally.

Birth control medication: For some women, birth control pills lessen the migraines, while in other women the situation may become worse. The head can pound when you take placebo pills. It is advised to take pills which has a low dose of estrogen and progesterone so that you don’t experience a sharp hormone drop. Taking pills with a low amount of estrogen on your placebo pill days is the best birth control for menstrual migraines.

Hormone replacement therapy: Hormone replacement therapy used to treat perimenopause and menopause. This therapy may worsen the headaches in some women and in some women headaches will be controlled. The doctor will recommend an estrogen skin patch in the treatment, which helps in reducing the headaches, as it gives a slow and steady dose of hormone.

Apart from these causes, genetics also play a role in chronic migraines. People observe a combination of factors that trigger headaches. Some other factors are,

  • Skipping meals
  • Getting too much or too little sleep
  • Intense lights smell and sounds
  • Severe weather changes
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Too much caffeine or caffeine withdrawal
  • Stress
  • Processed meats
  • Aged cheese
  • Artificial sweeteners

Menstrual Migraines Treatment:

Home remedies:

Home remedies are the best way to reducing headache pain and gives you relief for a short period of time. However, if the migraines are frequent, take medicines as per the doctor's prescription.

  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated
  • Sleep in a dark and quiet room
  • Take an ice bag or cold cloth and keep it on your head
  • Massage the area where you feel pain
  • Practice deep breathing and relaxing exercises

Medication for Headache:

Some of the medicines are given for acute treatment. These type of medicines are taken when the headache or migraines starts. Some of the examples are,

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium

Triptans, a migraine-specific medicine, reduce the intensity of migraine attacks. They reduce the pain within 2 hours and helps in controlling the vomiting sensation.

Some women take a combination of NSAIDs with triptans to treat these headaches. They can be ordered online from the online pharmacies. You can buy pain medication online Delhi, to treat menstrual headaches.

For the women who experience frequent hormonal headaches, preventive therapy and other medication may be used. These medicines will be taken daily or at the time when you are likely to get hormonal headaches. They are,

  • Beta-blockers
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Antidepressants

Doctors also prescribe magnesium supplements to reduce the intensity of headache pain. Apart from these medications and home remedies, acupuncture therapy and massage therapy also helps o treat the headaches.


Women’s health is affected by the hormones throughout their lifetime. Hormonal imbalances and fluctuations have a great influence on the woman’s reproductive health. A healthy natural diet and regular exercise help you maintain the hormonal balance. Learn to manage stress and avoid the triggers that may bring you the migraines. Consult your doctor and take the necessary medication regularly to manage the hormonal headaches.

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