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How can I treat my headaches during menopause?

Dawn Marcus
Neurology
Menopause is the time when a woman's menstrual cycles stop. The early stages of menopause can be associated with a myriad of symptoms related to estrogen withdrawal, including hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and increased headaches. Headaches usually improve in the later stages of menopause, so you may need to increase headache treatments only during perimenopause. General guidelines during this period are:
  • Talk to your doctor about changes in your headache pattern and the
           effectiveness of your treatments.
  • Maximize your use of non-drug treatments to reduce headaches and
           other menopause symptoms. Some strategies have been shown
           to reduce headaches as well as other menopause symptoms.
           These include stress management, relaxation, cognitive
           behavioral therapy, sleep hygiene, and exercise.
  • Weight gain is common in early menopause. Minimize weight gain by
           adopting healthy eating, sleeping, and exercise habits instead of
           skipping meals.
  • Don't use hormones specifically to treat headaches, because the
           response is difficult to predict. Talk to your healthcare provider
           about hormone therapy if you have moderate to severe
           menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness,
           and mood swings.
  • Use the lowest dose of hormone therapy for the shortest duration
           possible. If appropriate, consider using vaginal preparations or
           a transdermal patch instead of pills.
  • You may need to discuss alternatives to triptans if you have a
           number of risk factors for heart disease.
  • Consider adding prevention therapies if your headaches are
           frequent.
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.