Migraine may be triggered by a variety of environmental factors but may also be triggered by changes within the body. For women, they may be triggered by changes in levels of hormones that occur throughout the menstrual cycle. These are known as menstrual migraines. About 60% of women with migraine experience menstrual migraines.

These migraines may be particularly persistent and difficult to treat. There are many different ways of addressing these with treatment. One clinical trial found that starting magnesium supplements daily 15 days prior to menses was helpful in treating menstrual migraines. They may also be addressed using typical abortive or rescue medications such as NSAIDs or triptans.

Additionally, oral contraceptives may help to alleviate symptoms by decreasing the drop in estrogen, however the effects may vary from person to person. It is important to discuss this with your provider to assess your stroke risk prior to starting oral contraceptives. In some cases, your gynecologist may work together with your headache specialist to coordinate treatment.

Call the Manhattan Center for Headache & Neurology and speak to one of o ur caring healthcare providers about the right treatment for your menstrual migraines.

By: Brooke Steiger NP