Hormones and Migraine

Migraine occurs more often in women than in men. Although migraine headaches are equally common in young girls and boys, the number of girls affected increases sharply after the onset of menstruation. It seems clear that certain hormonal changes that occur during puberty in girls, and remain throughout adulthood, are implicated in the triggering and frequency of migraine attacks in women.

The finding that 60% of women sufferers related attacks to their menstrual cycle supports this link between female hormone changes and migraine headaches. Attacks may occur several days before or during the woman’s menstrual period. There are women who also get the headache mid-cycle, at the time of ovulation. Estrogen levels fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle. The headaches typically occur in association with drops in the estrogen level. Few women (less than 10%) have headaches only with menses. Therefore, in most women, hormones are just one of many migraine triggers. Continue Reading