Why do I get headaches during my menstrual period?

Dawn Marcus
Neurology
Estrogen and other hormones increase and then begin to cycle at puberty, resulting in a surge in headache activity for many girls. The cycling of hormones and other body chemicals with monthly menstrual periods often causes a marked increase in headache frequency and severity with menstrual flow and, to a lesser extent, mid-cycle with ovulation. A variety of factors contribute to a reduced headache threshold with menstruation:
  • Falling hormone levels
  • Low magnesium
  • Increases in substances called prostaglandins that make pain
           receptors more sensitive
  • Changes in muscle tension
  • Increased susceptibility to headache triggers
If you or your daughter experiences an increase in headache or clustering of your headaches around your menstrual periods, you or she might benefit from tailoring your treatment to include therapies specifically designed to target menstrual migraine.
The Woman's Migraine Toolkit: Managing Your Headaches from Puberty to Menopause (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

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The Woman's Migraine Toolkit: Managing Your Headaches from Puberty to Menopause (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

Migraines are a common, controllable type of headache that affects one in every six women, more than 20 million in the United States alone. The Woman’s Migraine Toolkit helps readers take charge of...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.