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Menopause & Migraine, is it worse ?

The transitional phase preceding menopause, known as perimenopause, encompasses fluctuations in ovarian function. These changes bring about varying levels of estrogen and progesterone, the hormones that take care of the reproductive health can either trigger or even worsen the migraine attacks.

Estrogen  plays a key role in this scenario, contributing to hot flashes and migraines, giving rise to alterations in brain chemicals like serotonin. Both personally and scientifically, research has proven that women who experience migraines linked to hormonal shifts such as menstruation, pregnancy, or birth control are more likely to experience worsening migraines during the phase of perimenopause.

The type of menopause undergone also influences the trajectory of migraine symptoms. According to a study approximately 60% of women experience an improvement in migraines following natural or on the spot menopause. Conversely, those who undergo surgical menopause, involving the removal of ovaries, may experience worsening migraines too.

Predicting the duration of perimenopause proves challenging, with an average duration spanning from 4 to 8 years. However, individual genetic factors and hormonal fluctuations can lead to shorter or prolonged perimenopausal periods.

It’s crucial to recognize that any abrupt changes in estrogen and progesterone levels can precipitate or exacerbate migraines, not solely estrogen withdrawal. Therefore, understanding and managing these hormonal fluctuations are essential for effectively navigating the perimenopausal phase and mitigating migraine symptoms.


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