The menstrual cycle is known to contribute to the frequency and severity of migraines in women. Many experience migraines at certain times throughout their cycle, largely starting up to two days before their cycle begins and lasting for up to 5 days. Interestingly, the menopause is known to impact migraines, making them either better or worse, depending upon the individual.
Here, we’ll look at the link between migraines and the menopause.
Perimenopause and migraines
Research has shown that migraines can worsen during the perimenopause. This is down to a decrease in the production of Oestrogen. The hormones begin to fluctuate, causing a range of unpleasant side effects and migraines can be one of them.
During this time, patients may experience more frequent migraine attacks, as well as more severe attacks. Although the menopause is diagnosed once periods have completely stopped, hormonal changes from the perimenopause can last for years after the last period.
Do migraines improve after the menopause?
Women who suffer from migraines understandably want to know if they’ll ever stop. The good news is, for 15% of women, it does appear the menopause does reduce and, in some cases, completely eliminate the occurrence of migraines. However, for up to 45% of women, they can become worse, rather than better.
If the migraines are being caused by hormonal changes, they should start to diminish around 2-5 years after the menopause has started. However, some patients may continue to experience chronic migraines well into later life. With chronic migraines, they tend to occur for more reasons other than the menopause.
Going through the menopause can, therefore, be really difficult for migraine sufferers. As periods begin to become more unpredictable in the leadup to the menopause, it becomes more difficult to predict them and prepare for a migraine attack. The symptoms of the menopause can also contribute towards the development of a migraine, such as hot flushes and night sweats. These can impact sleep quality, which ultimately can increase stress levels and increase the risk of a migraine.
What migraine treatments are available?
There are a number of treatment options available to women experiencing migraines. Aspirin, hormone therapy, ergots and magnesium are all considered effective medications for migraine sufferers. If hormone therapy is prescribed, it can have differing effects on women. Some find it does help to control their migraines, while others find that it makes them worse.
Other treatment options include dietary changes, relaxation techniques, acupuncture and biofeedback. It is important for women to seek specialist advice if they feel the menopause is contributing to their migraines.
Another option for women suffering from menopause-related migraines is Botox as this helps to relieve the frequency of chronic migraines.
If you are interested in offering your menopause patients Botox for migraine relief, then call 0790 0583 898 to find out more about our Botox for migraine training courses. Youth Doctors offers the only Botox for migraine course in the UK and Europe.