Understanding the Causes and Prevention of Menstrual Migraine: The Role of Estrogen

Authors

  • Lawrence C. Newman MD


  • From the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and The Headache Institute, St. Luke's – Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, NY.

Address all correspondence to Lawrence C. Newman, The Headache Institute, St. Luke's – Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, NY 10019.

Abstract

Menstruation increases the risk of migraine in susceptible women. In a subpopulation of women with menstrual migraine, headaches occurring in association with onset of menses may be more severe and of longer duration than headaches experienced by the same woman at other times of her menstrual cycle. Although menstrual migraines share many clinical characteristics of other types of migraines, their occurrence is predictable provided that the patient has regular menstrual cycles. Therefore, short-term prevention regimens can be considered for women whose headaches are not adequately managed with acute therapies.

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