Migraines can be tied to a woman’s menstrual cycle. OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson details how to combat headaches exacerbated by hormonal fluctuations.
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Treating Menstrual Migraines Dr. Lisa Masterson: Menstrual migraines, these can absolutely be debilitating, even though they're very common. I mean the light sensitivity, the nausea, I mean it can keep you doing everything that you want to do, and just make you completely miserable. But very common, usually it happens when right before woman has her period. Because the happy hormones, the estrogen, they go down. And estrogen, people don’t know, affects different things in your body, like your nerves and your central nervous system and your pain pathways. And so these neurotransmitters get really, really sensitive, the blood vessels dilate in your brain. And all this can cause just for those throbbing, throbbing headaches that are really signature to menstrual migraines. So they happen before because of the low estrogen, so what can you do? One, you can just attack the pain. And go and try either a Aleve or Ibuprofen, these were the best, because it's actually the prostaglandins that contribute to menstrual cramps as well as the pain that you experience with the headache. The other thing is don’t let your period control you, take control of your period. You can start to do sequential hormones, you can actually decrease how long your period is. There are some that will extend up into the cycles, so that they will have like 24 days, as opposed to 21 days. There are some that you just can have a period three months out of the year. So look into that, ask your doctor about taking away your period and that will take away the migraine. You could also give back that happy hormone estrogen and use an estrogen patch and it sort of fills in estrogen that you're lacking for a little bit of time. So between the birth control pills, controlling your period, getting a little more estrogen, pain pills, then there's just other things that are just directed are migraines in general, like Imitrex or sometimes we use antidepressants. Talk to your doctor, that’s like the biggest thing, right? Talk to your doctor, you don’t have to be miserable. The big thing in looking forward to menopause is that this go away. So something to look forward in menopause, you don’t have to worry about the menstrual migraine. Dr. Travis Stork: There's a cabbage, of you like, grab this on your forehead. Dr. Lisa Masterson: You know if you told that to a woman with a menstrual migraine, you'd be hurting.