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Headaches and menstrual period

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

There are many factors that contribute to headaches in both men and women, including family history and age. However, women often note a link between headaches and hormonal changes, especially during these days of the month. This occurs due to the fluctuation of hormones during the menstrual cycle, estrogen and progesterone, which play vital roles in regulating the menstrual cycle and pregnancy, bringing at the same time many changes when affecting chemicals in the brain.

Let’s talk about the fluctuation of these hormones:

  • Estrogen is a female sex hormone. It travels through the bloodstream delivering messages to different body parts, and a drop in estrogen just before your period could contribute to headaches.

  • Progesterone is a hormone produced by a woman's ovaries.

After ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary), these hormone levels drop, getting at their lowest before your period.

What can I do when I experiment headaches during my period?

Fortunately, menstrual-related migraines can be treated in a number of ways.

  • Ice: Hold a cold cloth or ice pack to the painful area of your head or neck. Don't forget to wrap the ice pack in a towel to protect the skin.

  • Acupuncture: if the pain becomes a constant before or during your period, we recommend this ancient Chinese practice that can reduce the number of tension headaches you have and may help with the prevention of migraines too.

  • Relaxation exercises: One of the best ways to reduce stress.

  • Over-the-counter and prescription pain relievers: Medicines like naproxen sodium (Aleve) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) may relieve pain soon after the headache begins, or prescript ones like dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal) when the pain gets heavier.

  • Triptans: Your doctor might prescribe these medications, which block pain signals in the brain. Triptans usually relieve headache pain within two hours and help control vomiting.

  • Get enough rest: Too little sleep can make headaches worse. Try to get around eight hours of sleep every night with an appropriate environment for resting: turn off the television and lights and keep your room at a comfortable temperature.

Remember: it is important to keep track of daily symptoms that come along with your period. With Adira, you can add them and specify the frequency and intensity of each one of them.



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