Menstrual Migraines – Types, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment.

Image courtesy: m_bartosch

Menstrual migraines are headaches that happen before, after or even during periods. Some women also suffer from this kind of migraine during the ovulation period due to the fluctuation of the level of progesterone and estrogen during the menstrual cycle of women. These migraines involve severe headaches, vomiting and they last for a long time. As per the National Pain Foundation, almost sixty percent of women suffer from this migraine.

Types of Menstrual Migraines

There are two types of migraines – menstrual related migraines and pure menstrual migraines. Both these kinds of migraines affects two out of three cycles of menstruation and features symptoms like nausea, fatigue, and throbbing. The difference lies in the fact that whereas menstrual related migraines can happen at any time but pure menstrual migraines always occurs on the first three days during the menstrual bleeding or within two days before the menstrual cycle starts. It does not occur during any other time of the month.

Causes for Migraine Development

Many factors are responsible for these migraines.

•    Control pills: Studies have shown that women who consume oral contraceptive pills experience such migraines in the early cycles for the first time.

•    Fluctuations in the hormones: Drop in the level of both progesterone and oestrogen(Estrogen) is required in the final phase of the cycle of menstruation for preventing migraines. Fluctuation in the gonadal hormone is also a cause for such migraines.

•    The first trimester of pregnancy: Though these migraines get better with pregnancy, menstrual migraines are said to worsen during the first trimester of the pregnancy. However, they do improve in the later trimesters because of the sustained high level of estrogen.

• Therapy for menopausal hormonal replacement: Women who are in their post-menopausal phase and have undergone this therapy also suffer from risk of suffering from these migraines.

•    Discontinuing preparation of oral sex hormones: Discontinuation of the oral sex hormone fluctuates the hormones in the cycle of menstruation that may increase the risks of such migraines.

Menstrual Migraine Symptoms

•    Headaches
•    Scotomas
•    Vomiting
•    Fatigue and mood swings
•    Nausea
•    Muscle pains
•    Pain in the joints

Treatment of Menstrual Migraines

Preventive treatment:  Effective treatments to provide relief against menstrual migraines are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, the triptans, combination of caffeine, aspirin and acetaminophen, also known as AAC. If these medications do not work, then you can treat with corticosteroids, analgesics or dihydroergotamine. Moreover, the over-the-counter kind of drugs is also recommended for people suffering from these migraines.

Since most women suffer from vomiting during this migraine, anti-nausea medication is also recommended. Whatever may be the treatment, doctors must be definitely consulted before undergoing any treatment they may bear some side effects.

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  1. chiropractor cork June 17, 2013 10:37 am Reply

    Wow, this is pretty interesting. Inspiring, as well. Thanks for sharing such inspiring experience with us. Great blog, congrats.!

  2. Flora Kennedy April 23, 2014 1:12 pm Reply

    Though these migraines get better with pregnancy. this is my first time pregnancy

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