Italian researchers found women with endometriosis, a condition in which tissue that lines the inside of the uterus develops outside the uterus, were twice as likely as other women to suffer from migraines.
About 5% of women of reproductive age have endometriosis, which can cause bleeding, pain, inflammation, and infertility. Migraine headaches are also common among women, affecting between 15% and 19% of women in this age group in the U.S. and Europe.
"In the light of the findings of the study, the two conditions together would be likely to affect around 2 in every 100 women of reproductive age," says researcher Simone Ferrero, of the University of Genoa in Italy, in a news release.Migraine and Endometriosis May Be Connected
In the study, which appears in today's online edition of the journal Human Reproduction, researchers compared the rates of migraine diagnosis in 133 women with endometriosis and 166 similarly matched women without the disease.
Of the women with endometriosis, a third suffered migraines, which was significantly higher than in the comparison group where only 15% suffered migraines, says Ferrero.
Although more women with endometriosis reported suffering from migraines, the study showed no significant differences in the frequency or intensity of migraine attacks between the two groups. Nor was the severity of the migraines related to the severity of endometriosis in women with both conditions.
"We don't really understand the link between the two conditions although some biochemical mediators have been implicated," says Ferrero. "But the association between the two conditions requires further research."