migraine and menopause

Topic: What to know about migraine and menopause

Migraine is a type of severe headache that might also cause other symptoms, such as nausea and light sensitivity. It may improve or worsen during menopause.

Migraine is more commonTrusted Source in menstruating people of reproductive age, but it may get worse in perimenopause, which is the period before menopause.

A potential connection between migraine and menopause is that headaches may improve after menopause. However, they may also get worse.

In this article, learn more about this link and why it might exist. This article also provides more information about menopause and how to alleviate migraine symptoms.

Is there a link between migraine and menopause?

Migraine is more commonTrusted Source in people of childbearing age. For many people with migraine, the days before and during a period are significant migraine triggers.

One article in the journal Therapeutic Advances in Neurological Disorders cites a 71% increaseTrusted Source in the risk of having a migraine in the 2 days leading up to a period.

During the menstrual cycle, estrogen levels drop right before a period starts. This estrogen withdrawal may trigger migraine without an aura. An aura is a group of symptoms such as flashing lights that sometimes appear before a migraine.

High levels of estrogen, which are common leading up to ovulation, may also trigger migraine with aura.

Most population-level studies, which are studies that look at an entire population, show that migraine headaches tend to improve after menopause. This may be because a person no longer experiences the hormone shifts that once triggered their migraine pain.

Headaches may temporarily get worse during perimenopause, which is the period leading up to menopause during which a person is likely to experience other symptoms, such as hot flashes.

However, studies that look specifically at people seeking treatment at headache centers — a subset of people who may have especially severe migraine — suggest that migraine may actually get worse during menopause.

Topic Discussed: What to know about migraine and menopause

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