When you get a migraine it's tough to know, is this your hormones, is this the weather, are you lacking hydration and vitamins, or the few sips of red wine you had last night?! Migraine headaches are common in women, and often more difficult to treat in the menstrual period of time. Some women almost exclusively have menstrual migraines.. Migraine sufferers have headaches, but often they will have warning symptoms as well. These may be nausea, light adversity, odd sense of smell or even vomiting. These non-headache neurological symptoms that occur when the pain starts are known as auras. Recent studies have shown that it is actually very common to have migraines without warning than with warning auras. But other women might have migraine symptoms that precede the actual headache pain by a day or even several days. And these symptoms may be those that are commonly recognized to be associated with migraines: like spots before your eyes, vision changes or, fatigue. When these headaches occur with or during the menstrual period they are known as menstrual migraines. It has been discussed as to what about the hormone level changes during our cycle produce the migraine. A new study trying to look into the hormonal reasons for menstrual migraines has focused as much as on the effects of estrogen hormone on headache as on the effects of the rapid lowering of blood estrogen levels in the days leading to the menstrual period. Lena Pavlovic, MD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York specifically thinks their studies show that women with migraine have a different hormone profile to women without a history of migraine — specifically, according to a report in Medscape she states, “they have a more rapid decline in estrogen in the late luteal (second)of the menstrual cycle. Although all women have this estrogen decline, it may be the women who get migraines have Actually some of the hormonal fluctuations around ovulation can be as dramatic as the hormone fluctuations around the menstrual period and these fluctuations of the estrogen level can cause hormonal migraines as well. And perhaps estrogen can treat these headaches. Dr. Pavlovic was quoted in saying that up to 25% of women have menstrual migraines at least at some time in their lives.
more rapid plummeting of the hormone levels just prior to the menstrual cycle than do other women. Their theory is that there are a lot of triggers for migraines, but in some women, only the hormonal trigger is responsible for most all their migraine headaches.
Neurology. Published online June 1, 2016. Abstract