Many people unfortunately suffer with headaches whilst dealing with the menopause. These ‘menstrual migraines’ are often more severe than a standard headache and are likely to return the next day.
Many women experience headaches caused by changes in their hormones.
According to the National Migraine Centre, more than half of women who get migraines notice a link with their periods. They’re most likely to develop in either the 2-day lead to a period or the first 3 days during. This is naturally due to a drop in oestrogen levels.
When suffering from these headaches, it’s best to keep a diary for at least 3 menstrual days to see if your migraines are linked to your periods. Useful tools like the migraine trust website might be useful.
For hormone headaches, if you’re keeping a diary, and it tells you that your headaches developed before your period, consider using these to help prevent a migraine:
Eat small & frequent snacks to keep your blood sugar levels high.
Have a regular sleeping pattern & avoid too much or too little sleep (anywhere around 7-8 hours.)
Avoid stress, if this is too difficult however, find ways to deal with stress that’ll work for you, like regular exercise.
Your doctor can also prescribe migraine medicines for you to take around the time of your period.
Continuous contraceptive pills
Talk to your doctor if you think your contraceptive pills are making your migraines worse.
If you have headaches during the days, you do not take the pills, you can avoid the sudden fall in oestrogen by taking several packs continuously without a break.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
The hormone changes that happen as women approach the menopause mean that all types of headaches, including migraines, become more common.