Are migraine headaches more common in women than in men?


Yes, in adults, migraine headaches are approximately 3 times more common in women than in men. Among postmenopausal women, migraines are about twice as common. Interestingly, before puberty, migraines are more common in boys than in girls. It appears that changes in levels of the estrogen hormone may trigger migraines in women susceptible to them, especially those with menstrual headaches, or migraines that are triggered by the menstrual cycle. 

Migraines are much more common in adults in women with 18% of women and 6% of men having this disorder. In very young children, males may predominate, but after puberty and throughout life, many more are women. 

Yes. About three out of four people who have migraines are women. Migraines are most common in women between the ages of 20 and 45. At this time of life women often have more job, family, and social duties. Women tend to report more painful and longer lasting headaches and more symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting. All these factors make it hard for a woman to fulfill her roles at work and at home when migraine strikes.

This answer is based on the source infromation from the National Women's Health Information Center.

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Mayo Clinic estimates that 17 percent of women have migraine pain, while only 6 percent of men do. Most people who experience migraines have triggers that bring them on. These can include: Stress, smells, bright lights, medication, caffeine, change in season, activity, alcohol, chocolate, aspartame, aged cheese or msg. Individual triggers vary and some triggers may bring on a migraine at some times and not at others.

Continue Learning about Migraine Headaches

Migraine Headaches

Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches are severe headaches that can last for hours or days. The pain can be so severe that the headache causes nausea and vomiting. Sometimes migraines follow a disturbance in your vision. When this happens they are c...

alled ocular migraines. The symptoms of this are flashes of light, seeing zigzagged patterns, blind spots and bright spots or stars. Migraines occur more frequently in women and are thought to be triggered by changing hormones, some foods, stress or bright lights. Talk to your doctor to see what you can do to control your migraine symptoms and what you can do to prevent them.

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.