A woman’s menstrual cycle, as natural as it may be, also places us at risk of a range of different symptoms of varying types and intensities. Among the most unpleasant this cycle has to offer is menstrual migraines.
It has been estimated that menstrual migraines affect more than 50 percent of women at some point or another. While some of those women will experience them only once in their lifetimes, others will have to suffer through them during every single cycle.
Menstrual migraines aren’t just headaches. These are typically a much more severe pain that is harder to treat and that will frequently return despite the fact that medication has been taken. Many women feel as though they have no choice but to try to push through the pain and do their best to continue with their regular lives. However, there is more that they can do than simply taking a headache pill and hoping for the best.
The first step is to know whether or not this is what is affecting you. The reason is that regular headaches are also a common premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptom. To know whether you suffer from regular headaches or migraines brought on by your menstrual cycle, it’s wise to speak with your doctor. He or she may be able to recommend certain treatments based on the way the migraines occur, which may or may not involve the use of medication.
Many doctors recommend that women start to track the occurrence of their migraines just like they track their periods. Tracking for three straight cycles is often enough to establish your unique pattern. Then, it can become easier to know what is causing these pains.
Some women experience them as a result of a peaking of estrogen and other hormones at ovulation. Others may experience them just before their periods start as a result of the naturally plummeting progesterone levels. Finally, some women will experience them during their menstruation as both estrogen and progesterone levels hit rock bottom.
Once you know when your migraines occur, you and your doctor can come up with the best strategy for preventing them based on your body’s rhythms. Among the types of treatments that may be recommended include hormone balancing, lifestyle factors such as dietary changes and exercise, conventional migraine prevention treatments, acute migraine treatments, homeopathic therapies, and other practices such as yoga and meditation which can also be very helpful.