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How can you get menstrual migraines?

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As early as 1966, researchers noticed that migraines may be worse for women who take birth control pills, especially ones with high doses of estrogen. Most forms work this way: You take pills that mix estrogen and progesterone for 3 weeks. For the week of your period, you might take placebo pills or no pill at all. That sudden drop of estrogen can also lead to migraines. Talk to your doctor about pills with low amounts of estrogen or progesterone only. They cause fewer side effects.

Hormone replacement therapy, a type of medication many women use during menopause to control hormone levels, can also trigger migraines.

From: Migraine and Hormones in Women WebMD Medical Reference

American Headache Society: "Menstrual Migraine: New Approaches to Diagnosis and Treatment."   

Cleveland Clinic: "Hormone Headaches Menstrual Migraines."   

UpToDate: "Estrogen-associated migraine."   

Migraine Trust: "Menstrual migraine."   

Mayo Clinic: "Chronic daily headaches."   

Medscape: "Oral Contraceptives in Migraine."   

Hu, Y.  , Jan 30, 2013.    The Journal of Headache and Pain

UpToDate: Preventive treatment of migraine in adults.”   

American Headache Society: “Menstrual Migraine.”   

Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences: “Taming The Cycle: How Does the Pill Work?”   

Journal of Headache Pain: “Migraine in women: the role of hormones and their impact on vascular diseases.”

Reviewed by Lawrence C. Newman on January 09, 2019

American Headache Society: "Menstrual Migraine: New Approaches to Diagnosis and Treatment."   

Cleveland Clinic: "Hormone Headaches Menstrual Migraines."   

UpToDate: "Estrogen-associated migraine."   

Migraine Trust: "Menstrual migraine."   

Mayo Clinic: "Chronic daily headaches."   

Medscape: "Oral Contraceptives in Migraine."   

Hu, Y.  , Jan 30, 2013.    The Journal of Headache and Pain

UpToDate: Preventive treatment of migraine in adults.”   

American Headache Society: “Menstrual Migraine.”   

Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences: “Taming The Cycle: How Does the Pill Work?”   

Journal of Headache Pain: “Migraine in women: the role of hormones and their impact on vascular diseases.”

Reviewed by Lawrence C. Newman on January 09, 2019

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