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What are reasons my doctor might not want me to take birth control to help treat my migraines?

ANSWER

If you get migraines with auras, using birth control that contains estrogen and progesterone isn’t a safe option. Taking it could make you more likely to have a stroke. Other reasons your doctor may not want you to take birth control for your menstrual migraines include:

  • A history of smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes

SOURCES:

National Headache Foundation: “Cut Back on Salt to Decrease Headaches,” “Menstrual Migraine.”

Mayo Clinic, “Chronic Daily Headaches,” "Headaches and hormones: What’s the connection?”

Harvard University: “Taming the Cycle: How Does the Pill Work?”

OBG Management : “The gynecologist’s role in managing menstrual migraine.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Hormone Headaches Menstrual Migraines.”

The Migraine Trust: “Migraine and the contraceptive pill,” “Supplements and herbs.”

American Family Physician : “Contraception Choices in Women with Underlying Medical Conditions.”

UpToDate: “Patient education: Migraine headaches in adults (Beyond the Basics).”

American Headache Society: “Menstrual Migraine.”

Drug Safety: “Migraine in pregnancy: What are the safest treatment options?”

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on September 9, 2018

SOURCES:

National Headache Foundation: “Cut Back on Salt to Decrease Headaches,” “Menstrual Migraine.”

Mayo Clinic, “Chronic Daily Headaches,” "Headaches and hormones: What’s the connection?”

Harvard University: “Taming the Cycle: How Does the Pill Work?”

OBG Management : “The gynecologist’s role in managing menstrual migraine.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Hormone Headaches Menstrual Migraines.”

The Migraine Trust: “Migraine and the contraceptive pill,” “Supplements and herbs.”

American Family Physician : “Contraception Choices in Women with Underlying Medical Conditions.”

UpToDate: “Patient education: Migraine headaches in adults (Beyond the Basics).”

American Headache Society: “Menstrual Migraine.”

Drug Safety: “Migraine in pregnancy: What are the safest treatment options?”

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on September 9, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

What drugs are most often used to treat a menstrual migraine?

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