Menstrual Migraines

What are Menstrual Migraines?

Menstrual migraines are a specific type of headache that is experienced in the form of a migraine around the time of a woman's menstrual cycle. They are typically experienced one to two days before the start of menstruation and continue until a few days after the period has stopped. These types of headaches are more intense than the normal tension headaches or sinus headaches, and can cause a significant amount of discomfort for women who experience them.

What Are the Symptoms?

The symptoms of menstrual migraines can include a variety of things, including intense pain on both sides of the head, nausea or vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, fatigue, and even vision changes. Some women may also experience stomach cramps or other digestive issues during this time. Depending on the individual, the pain can range from mild to quite severe, and last anywhere from hours to days.

What Causes Menstrual Migraines?

The exact cause of menstrual migraines is not well-understood, but it is thought to be related to fluctuating hormone levels during the menstrual cycle. It is believed that the drop in estrogen levels in the days leading up to a woman's period can trigger the headache. Other potential causes for menstrual migraines include stress, lifestyle habits, and dietary triggers.

How Can Menstrual Migraines Be Treated?

There are a variety of ways to treat menstrual migraines, ranging from lifestyle changes to medications. Here are some tips for managing the pain associated with menstrual migraines:

  • Getting adequate sleep and rest in the days leading up to your period
  • Avoiding foods that contain monosodium glutamate (MSG) and nitrates
  • Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol
  • Managing stress with relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation
  • Taking over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Using prescribed medications for migraine prevention

If you suffer from menstrual migraines, it is important to discuss your symptoms and treatment options with your healthcare provider. Remember that everyone responds differently to treatment, so it may take some time to find the right approach for you.