What are menstrual migraines?
Menstrual migraines are triggered by fluctuations the monthly menstrual cycle of a woman. It is reffered to as menstrually-related migraines (MRM). According to the National Institutes of Health, any migraine incident that occurs up to two days before the start of a period and three days after, for at least two out of three periods is classified as MRM.
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Jelena Pavlovic, attending neurologist and assistant professor at New York’s Montefiore Health System, say;
“Some studies have identified that about 70 percent of women with migraine have MRM, while others have shown more conservative numbers of 40 to 50 percent. But menstrual migraine is often underreported and underdiagnosed because, in many women, the attacks often start prior to the onset of bleeding and/or do not last the whole menstrual period.”
Estrogen is responsible for triggering migraines in so many women.
“Menstrual migraine is commonly thought to be ‘triggered’ by the late-luteal phase or premenstrual drop in estrogen, Pavlovic said.
Menstrual migraine treatments
There are no specific treatment options identified exclusively for MRM, but a combination of traditional migraine treatments, alternative therapies, and hormone-related strategies can be effective against the pains.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs
Prescribed NSAIDs, like ibuprofen and naproxen, can help in treating migraines, though they may not quite do the trick. A 2013 review of clinical trials indicated that the naproxen’s efficacy often depends on the severity of the migraines and whether it’s being used in conjunction with other medications.
Triptans are one of the most popular prescription medication options for migraines. They work by reducing the swelling of blood vessels in the head.
“A long-acting triptan may be used preventively, beginning about a day before the expected onset of symptoms and continuing for the usual length of symptoms,” says Pavlovic.
- Transdermal estradiol
This is effective for women who don’t find much relief with non-hormone treatments, For instance, 0estrogen patch can help. Since MRM is linked to low levels of oestrogen, raising those levels around the time that patients normally experience migraines may help ease symptoms.
Pavlovic said; “Transdermal estradiol can be applied for a week, starting about five to seven days premenstrually and continuing through the second day of bleeding.” this method is preventative, so it helps to be able to track and predict your menstruation.
Magnesium is globally accepted as a potential remedy. Magnesium may be in short supply in those who suffer from migraines, acting as a co-conspirator with hormone fluctuations in causing the condition. Pavlovic said magnesium has been used primarily as a preventive agent for menstrual migraine.
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