Is There a Link Between Migraines and Hormones?

The Short Answer from a clinical psychologist

Is There a Link Between Migraines and Hormones?

Q: Is there a link between migraines and hormones?

A: Migraines are more common for women around the time of menstruation, as the abrupt drop in estrogen that triggers menses also can trigger migraines.

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Migraines are generally worse between puberty and menopause, since these estrogen fluctuations generally do not occur in young girls and post-menopausal women.

There do not appear to be any hormonal triggers for migraines in men, although men’s migraines can be triggered by multiple other factors.

Menstrual migraines are treatable using the same techniques as other forms of migraine, including medications, stress management, relaxation training, biofeedback, and lifestyle management.

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Even if the hormonal triggers do not change, other triggers can be addressed. If your headaches are strongly influenced by hormones, it is possible you will experience improvement or resolution of the headaches when reaching menopause.

 Steven J. Krause, PhDDirector of the Interdisciplinary Method for the Assessment & Treatment of Chronic Headache (IMATCH) program in Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Neurological Restoration

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