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How can you prevent migraines caused by birth control?

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Some birth control methods, like pills, patches, or vaginal rings, can help cut the number or the severity of menstrual migraines. You may need to try different types with different combinations and doses of hormones to find what works for you. Your doctor may suggest using birth control continuously for a while, without a break for a period, to avoid headaches However, if you have migraines with aura, you shouldn't use hormonal birth control because of a greater likelihood of strokes. Even if you don't have auras, your doctor may not want to prescribe birth control if you're over 35 and you smoke, have high blood pressure or cholesterol, are more than a little overweight, or have diabetes.

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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What medications are used to treat menstrual migraines?

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