Hormonal Migraine is a subtype of Migraine associated with alternation in estrogen levels. Estrogen is a steroid hormone associated with female reproduction. Fluctuations in estrogen levels can be a result of menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, hormone containing contraceptives and in vitro fertilization.

Menstrual Migraine is the most common type of hormonal headache. It is diagnosed over a minimum of three menstrual cycles. Menstrual Migraine can occur with or without aura; although without aura is most common.

The pathophysiology of estrogen impacting migraine headaches is complex related to numerous changes in the neural networks involved in pain response. Additionally, supporting data include genetics.

Hormonal migraine is mostly a clinical diagnosis – Neuro imaging and blood work may be required to rule out secondary causes of headaches. Treatment varies based on headache severity and frequency.

The Manhattan Center for Headache and Neurology and its sister site, Nervana Neurospa, has amazing providers that will help diagnose and potentially treat hormonal related migraines.

By: Jordan Shankle, PA