Are Your Migraines Linked to Your Menstrual Cycle?

Posted on: 26 April 2019

While some people can't pinpoint why they get migraine headaches, some can. Some migraines have triggers. For example, some people get these headaches when they are stressed or when they eat certain types of food like chocolate.

In some cases, migraines can be linked to certain physical changes in your system. For example, if you get a bad migraine at the same time every month, then you may be wondering if the headache is linked to your menstrual cycle. How can you tell?

Keep a Migraine Diary

The easiest way to track migraines is to keep a diary of when they happen. So, next time you get this kind of headache, note down the date. To be more precise, note down any symptoms you get before the full-blown headache kicks in.

So, for example, if you can predict a migraine the day before it starts because you feel off-colour or nauseous, then write this in your diary. This, together, with the dates that your actual headache starts and finishes can be valuable information.

If you think that your headaches are linked to your menstrual cycle, then make sure to note down the day that your period starts in the diary as well. This date may not exactly match the date of your migraine; menstrual migraines often happen before or during your period.

Over a few months, you may see a correlation between your menstrual cycle and your headaches. For example, if you get a migraine every month two days before your period starts, then there may be a connection between the two. The more months this happens, the more likely it is that there is some connection.

Take the Diary to Your GP

If your migraine diary shows that there might be a link between your migraines and your periods, then it's worth making an appointment at your doctor's clinic. Take the diary with you to show them your findings.

Some women get migraines in or around their menstrual cycles because of fluctuations in their oestrogen or prostaglandin levels. Your diary may help your GP work out if this could be the root cause of your problems and may be able to suggest ways to deal with your monthly headaches.

For example, in some cases, doctors may recommend oestrogen supplements to try to reduce migraine frequency and severity. Treatments to alleviate heavy periods may also help. To find out more about your options, ask your doctor's advice at a medical clinic near you.

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