Menstrual migraine in a representative Dutch population sample: prevalence, disability and treatment


Emile Couturier, Department of Neurology, Medical Centre Boerhaave, Johannes Vermeerstraat 31, 1071 DL, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Tel. + 31 20 3050030, fax + 31 20 3050045, e-mail Received 30 January 2002, accepted 15 October 2002


We assessed the prevalence of menstrual migraine and its restrictions on daily activities in a representative Dutch population sample of 1181 Dutch women, aged 13–55 years. Further, we evaluated the potential role of oral contraceptives, and how menstrual migraine is treated. More than half suffered from menstrual complaints, a substantial proportion reported headache or migraine as a frequent problem. Use of oral contraceptives seemed to reduce the occurrence of menstrual complaints, but not the occurrence of headache and migraine. In our study, the prevalence of menstrual migraine (3%) is lower than in the literature, most probably because we did not use a selected group of patients but a population-based sample of ordinary women. It was confirmed that attacks of menstrual migraine are more severe, of longer duration, and more resistant to treatment than migraine attacks at other times of the month.