Why Do I Get Bad Migraines On My Period

Remedies And Treatments For Menstrual Headaches

I get bad headaches during my period. What can I do?

Pharmaceutical Remedies: There are not a lot of pharmaceutical remedies whether they are prescription of over the counter. However there are a few if you choose to use pharmaceuticals.

The best over the counter medications available are analgesics in general and medications made specifically for a womans menstrual cycle symptoms. The medication made for the menstrual cycle that can be effective for headaches includes:

Pamprin and Midol: Both of these should be taken during the PMS part of the cycle and then if needed continued throughout the cycle. Both of these will assist in the control of cramping, bloating, fever, or mood changes also associated with the cycle. In addition to these you have all the OTC analgesics/NSAIDS such as acetaminophen/ibuprofen/naproxen and others.

The prescription medications used for this are also the NSAIDS with the most commonly prescribed for menstrual headaches being Naprosyn, Orudis, Relefen, Nalfon, Motrin or Advil. Diuretics have also been used along with other prescription drugs such as Verapamil, Migranal, Depakote, Propranolol and Cafergot. NSAIDS are the primary drug of choice for most physicians who are going to prescribe for menstrual headaches.

None of these medications will treat the causes of the migraine or menstrual headache. They can only treat the symptoms and they cannot prevent the headaches from happening unless you take them all the time which is explicitly not recommended.

Natural and Home Remedies:

Reducing The Risk Of Migraine Hangover

Migraine hangovers can be reduced, or better managed, by maintaining good headache hygiene. When consistently practiced, these preventative measures can reduce the severity and length of a migraine hangover.

Stay well hydrated throughout all four phases of a migraine. While it can seem daunting, getting out of bed, stretching or very light activities can help the healing process. Avoiding factors which exacerbate the symptoms is important, and avoiding overstimulation may hasten the pace of recovery.

Caffeine during the prodrome phase can have a positive effect for some people, but others find it makes their symptoms worse. Many find comfort food, ice packs, heating pads, massages and additional rest helps to soothe their migraine hangover. Ignoring or pushing through the effects of the postdrome phase doesnt give the body necessary time to recover, and can increase the risk of having another attack. Take it easy and rest during this time.

Is It Common To Get Migraines Before Your Period

I get migraines a few days before my period starts. Is it common to have migraines as part of PMS? Alaire*

Yes. Lots of women who have migraines get them as part of their PMS symptoms. Doctors believe that changing hormone levels are to blame for this type of headache, which is known as a menstrual migraine.

Take some steps to try to stop these headaches so you feel better. You could start by taking an over-the-counter medicine like ibuprofen to see if that works. If you often get headaches near your period, try taking the medicine for a few days around that time, even if your headaches haven’t started yet. Doing this might help you avoid getting a headache. Getting enough sleep, not skipping meals, exercising regularly, and managing stress are other ways to help prevent headaches.

If a headache does come on, sometimes a cool cloth or ice pack wrapped in a towel can help. You can also try lying down in a quiet, dark room.

If these things don’t work for you, or if your headaches are severe enough that you miss school or other activities, talk to your doctor. He or she may recommend a prescription medicine or refer you to a headache expert.

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

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Treatment Menstrually Related Migraine

As you review these, remember that all medications have side effects, and you should discuss them with your doctor.

In general, MRM can be effectively managed with strategies similar to those used for non-MRM. Behavioral management is an important concept in menstrual as well as nonmenstrual migraine. Menstruation is one of many factors that put women at risk for migraine disease. Hormonal changes are just one of many potential trigger factors.

Most women living with menstrually related migraine are treated with acute medications. When attacks are very frequent, severe, or disabling, preventive treatment may be required.

Make Sure Its Not Migraine

Headache Before Period: Causes, Treatment, Prevention Tips ...

If nothing seems to be helping your premenstrual headaches or they become severe, you may be experiencing migraine attacks, not headaches.

Compared to a headache, migraine tends to cause more of a dull, aching pain. Eventually, the pain may start to throb or pulse. This pain often occurs on only one side of your head, but you might have pain on both sides or at your temples.

Usually, migraine attacks cause other symptoms as well, including:

  • nausea and vomiting

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Does This Feel Like Your Typical Headache Or

They may present a little differently than a typical headache or migraine. Menstrual headaches can range from mild to severe when it comes to pain, says Dr. Talebian, and they tend to start on one side of your head before spreading .

Classic migraine symptoms could strike, too for instance, you might feel super-sensitive to light and sick to your stomach.

Daily Magnesium Has A Preventive Effect

I really like magnesium as a natural supplement to take every day to help prevent menstrual migraine, says Hindiyeh. There is evidence to support using magnesium, though the mechanism of action, or the why behind how it improves migraine, is not totally understood, she says. It could be stabilizing cells or decreasing hyperexcitability or neuronal firing, but thats all theoretical at this point, she adds.


You can learn more about the various types of magnesium supplements on the website Migraine Again, and remember that its always a good idea to talk with your doctor about any supplements you are taking or are interested in taking.

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Theres A Distinct Migraine Phase With Its Own Symptoms That Begins When Your Head Pain Ends

For people who do not have migraine, the worst headache they ever experience may be the one that accompanies their hangover after a night of heavy drinking. A migraine hangover is much more complicatedit is a distinct phase in a migraine attack that begins once peak head pain dissipates. It symptoms can closely resemble the hallmarks of a typical hangover, like fatigue, dehydration, body aches and mental fogginess. For many, the effects of a migraine hangover may be just as debilitating as the period of head pain that precedes it.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Menstrual Migraine

Menstrual migraine | Why do I get migraines during my monthly cycle | period?

The symptoms of a menstrual migraine are the same as the symptoms for other types of migraines:

  • Headache pain that ranges from dull to a severe throb.
  • Feeling very warm or cold .
  • Sensitivity to light, noise and smells.
  • Tender scalp.
  • Nausea and vomiting, stomach upset, abdominal pain.
  • Diarrhea or fever .

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More Menstrual Migraine Prevention Tips

A few other things you can try at home to prevent menstrual migraines:

  • Exercise every day. Moderate exercise, like a walk, bike ride, or swim, could help you have fewer migraine headaches and make them less intense. Be careful not to work out too hard, though. Sometimes strenuous exercise can trigger migraines.
  • Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. A lack of rest can set off migraine attacks.
  • Relax. Stress leads to migraine for many people. Try techniques like deep breathing, yoga, and meditation to take the pressure off.
  • Watch what you eat. Avoid foods that trigger your headaches. Some foods that are common migraine triggers include: chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, aspartame and other artificial sweeteners, processed meat, and cheeses.
  • Graze throughout the day. Hunger can give you headaches. Eat several small meals and snacks instead of three big ones.

Menstrual Migraine Is Tough To Treat

Menstrual and menstrually related migraine can be the hardest kind of migraine to treat. can be pretty severe, they can last several days, and they can be quite debilitating, she says.

Even if you have migraine attacks only around the time of your period, for many women that may still mean five days or more a month, says Hindiyeh. In that case, its really time to talk to your doctor about daily preventive treatment options for migraine, she says.

Generally speaking, there are many treatment options for the prevention of migraine and menstrual migraine, says Hindiyeh. Heres a rundown of top medications and lifestyle modifications that can help reduce the frequency and severity of menstrual and menstrually related migraine attacks.

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How To Deal With Menstrual Headaches

Do you struggle with menstrual headaches?

Do you have these headaches before, during or after menstruation?

What are your symptoms and are these usually migraine headaches?

If so how do you get rid of them and what kind of remedies do you use?

What causes them and how long do they last?

These and other questions will be addressed here.

Other Causes Of Migraine Attacks

Headache During Period: Causes, Treatments, and More

Certain risk factors, such as age and family history, can play a role in whether you get migraine or menstrual migraine. Simply being a woman puts you at increased risk.

Of course, you cant control your sex, age, or family tree, but it may help to keep a migraine diary. This can help you identify and avoid triggers.

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Menstrual Migraine Treatment And Prevention

Since period-related headaches are fueled by hormonal changes, it can help to prevent large fluctuations, explains Dr. Woods. A birth control pill that levels out those hormones throughout the month … can really help, he says.

Some women will still get headaches during the placebo week of a 28-day pill regimen, Dr. Woods adds. If that happens, he says, doctors may recommend that patients skip the placebo week and start right in on a new pack of pills.

You can do that for a couple years, and you effectively level the playing field across the whole month, he says. If theres no change in hormones, youre less likely to get those headaches.

Why Do I Get Really Bad Headaches During My Period

If your head starts throbbing around the first day of your period, its probably more than just a headache: Its a menstrual migraine. And the short answer to this question is hormones. As estrogen drops in the days leading up to a menstrual period, a womans risk for migraine rises. This could be because estrogen helps activate parts of the brain that regulate the brains’ perception of pain. The lower the estrogen, the fewer resources the brain has to mute the pain.

Of the four in ten women who experience a migraine in their lifetimes, more than 50 percent say that migraines and menstruation go hand in hand. Research shows that migraine risk rises 25 percent in the five days leading up to the first day of a period, and that risk increases to 71 percent within two days before the period starts. The risk of migraine is highest on the first day of a period and two days afterward.

There are a few ways to both treat and prevent headaches during your period, but they depend on what kind of menstrual migraines you get, says Dr. Rashmi Halker, an assistant professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic Arizona and a fellow at the American Headache Society.

“If a woman has very predictable, regular cycles and she has a very predictable headache that comes on with her menstrual cycle, sometimes we use a mini-prevention’ around that vulnerable period, Halker explains. “If her cycles are irregular, kind of sporadic, then youd treat it like any other migraine.”

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Ways To Manage Bad Headache During Period

  • There are several ways to relieve a bad headache during period:Your doctor might recommend over-the-counter pills to help with your severe symptoms.
  • Prescription drugs are another possible remedy for a bad headache during period.
  • Certain vitamins and supplements have been shown to relieve headaches. They might include riboflavin, magnesium, and coenzyme Q10
  • Regular exercise.
  • Staying hydrated is essential, as well as eating nutritious meals.
  • You can also try reducing stress. Try relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, and breathing exercises
  • How To Manage Bad Headache Before Period


    Being female comes with its own struggles, especially when it comes to headaches. Fortunately, there’s help.

    Over-the-counter pain relievers can be of great help. They may soothe your pain soon after your headache begins.

    Triptans are another option. You might feel their effects 2 hours after you take them.

    You can also try acupuncture. This ancient Chinese practice may lower the number of tension headaches you get and could prevent a migraine before period.

    Many women also report using biofeedback. Biofeedback may relieve your headaches by helping you monitor how your body responds to stress. Apart from biofeedback, you can also try relaxation techniques.

    Sometimes, holding an ice pack to the painful area is the best solution. Simply wrap the ice pack in a towel in order to protect your skin.

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    Hormonal Headache Vs Menstrual Migraine

    While a hormonal headache and a menstrual migraine are both caused by fluctuating hormones, the difference between the two involves the severity of the head pain.

    A hormonal headache may be mild to moderate and cause a nagging ache or throb. Its a nuisance and uncomfortable, but it might not interfere with your day-to-day routine.

    A menstrual migraine, on the other hand, can be debilitating. According to the National Headache Foundation, menstrual migraine affects about 60 percent of women.

    If you regularly experience migraine attacks, you may be susceptible to menstrual migraine.

    A menstrual migraine differs from a regular migraine in that it isnt usually associated with an aura. Aura refers to flashing lights, zigzag lines, or other sensory experiences that some people experience before a migraine attack.

    A menstrual migraine is characterized by severe throbbing that can start on one side of the forehead and travel to the other. The severity can make it difficult to keep your eyes open, work, or even think.

    Treatment for a hormonal headache and a menstrual migraine depend on the severity.

    Can You Prevent These Headaches

    There are a few methods your doctor might suggest.

    Hormonal:Birth control pills or estrogen patches and vaginal rings may help lower the number of menstrual migraines you have or make them less severe. But they donât work for everyone. In some cases, they could make your migraines worse.

    Your doctor might tell you to stay on birth control for 3 to 6 months without taking any placebo pills. This will prevent you from having a period and may stop your headaches.

    If you get migraines with auras, using birth control that contains estrogen and progesterone isnât a safe option. Taking it could make you more likely to have a stroke. Other reasons your doctor may not want you to take birth control for your menstrual migraines:

    Medicines that prevent migraines: If you donât respond to other treatments and you have 4 or more migraine days a month, your doctor may suggest preventive medicines. You can take these regularly to make the headaches less severe or less frequent. These could include:

    Devices: Four devices may bring relief.

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