Estrogen Treatment of Menstrual Migraine

The IHS has given us a definition of menstrual migraine, and for those wanting to get more in depth with their migraine analysis can go to their headache classification system which is very useful. Menstrual migraines occur two days before to 3 days after the onset of bleeding and at no other times during the cycle. To have this condition you should be having your menstrual cycle migraines almost each time you have your period: but officially if you have them 2 of 3 periods you have the disease. Women generally feel that these are triggered by the hormonal shifts that do occur at this time of the month as they can experience other signs of the hormonal withdrawal. There is a known drop in estrogen right before the period, and it takes a few days for those levels to rise significantly, so perhaps it's this low estrogen that is bringing on the migraine. Swedish researchers attempted to therefore treat the migraine by giving estrogen during this low estrogen time. This was a duplication of similar treatments others have tried. Oddly their estrogen treatment did no better than placebo, but all the patients did better than before they were enrolled in the trial! So working with your physician, doing the simple things that we know you are supposed to do and being aware of the expected headache can really help women get effective treatment. As for estrogen, this alone is not likely to treat most women, but then it still might be something to try for those still seeking relief, come in to discuss with your gyno at Women's Health Practice

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