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How to Manage Menstrual Migraines

Migraines are not ordinary headaches, and if you’ve experienced them, it’s understandable that you want to do everything possible to ease the pain and keep them at bay. Some women experience migraines that consistently crop up in the days before their menstrual period. Aptly called menstrual migraines, these excruciating headaches can happen every month like clockwork. 

Relief from the pain of menstrual migraines is possible. Women now have more options than ever for managing period-related migraine headaches.

Here at Premier Neurology Group, Dr. Ravinder Singh and our caring team understand the debilitating nature of migraines. We take an individualized approach to managing menstrual migraines and have put together a guide to help you understand your options.

What separates migraines from regular headaches?

Appropriate diagnosis is the first step in managing migraines. Dr. Singh relies on established, widely accepted criteria for diagnosing migraines and differentiating them from regular headaches. 

You may have migraines if you experience headaches that develop into throbbing pain, usually on one side of the head, along with:

There are two subtypes of menstrual migraines: those that occur 2-3 days before your period and migraines that consistently occur at other times during the menstrual cycle. 

Some migraines start with sensory changes. For example, you may see flashing lights. These are called migraines with aura. Menstrual migraines can occur with and without aura. Up to half of women with confirmed menstrual migraines experience aura.

What causes menstrual migraines?

It’s believed that in susceptible women, changes in estrogen levels before and during the menstrual period triggers migraines. Other factors may contribute to migraines, too, such as the release of inflammatory chemicals from the uterine lining, drops in magnesium levels, and changes in important brain chemicals that occur during the menstrual cycle.

Managing menstrual migraines

We offer many options to provide relief from menstrual migraines. Therapy involves easing acute pain and warding off future migraines. 

We also consider the severity and duration of your migraines when choosing a treatment approach. For severe migraines, a class of medications called triptans can help manage acute pain. These medications work by stimulating serotonin production to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Not everyone responds to triptans, and your response also depends on the type of triptan you take. If your migraines don’t respond to one type of triptan, Dr. Singh may recommend a different one.

Other options for managing migraines include:

These are just a few ways Dr. Singh helps you manage migraines, and he discusses all the available options with you.

Should I seek treatment for migraines?

Unfortunately, far too few women who live with menstrual migraines seek treatment. Many women report feeling like it’s something they just have to put up with. It’s important to know that migraine headaches are not a normal part of your menstrual period, and you don’t have to suffer from the throbbing pain of migraine headaches. 

Migraines can have a major impact on your daily life. The pain of a migraine is often severe enough that women report missing days of work as well as social functions. The pain can prevent you from performing your typical daily tasks and responsibilities. The World Health Organization ranks migraines as the top disabling condition in people under the age of 50.  

We’re committed to treating the root of your menstrual migraines so that you can experience relief. For migraine treatment with the latest advances in pain management, call our office in Beverly Hills, California, to schedule your appointment or use our convenient online booking form.

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