EXCLUSIVE: Menstrual Migraine: Headache before, during and post period & treatments for this

A woman goes through a lot of hormonal changes when her menstrual cycle is going to commence. It doesn’t just happen before the periods cycle but it sometimes continues during and post-menstrual cycle.
EXCLUSIVE: Menstrual Migraine: Headache before, during and post period & treatments for this EXCLUSIVE: Menstrual Migraine: Headache before, during and post period & treatments for this
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If you’re experiencing headache during all these phases, you’re not alone. Before the periods cycle, menstrual migraine is one of the prominent symptoms of PMS. So, these headaches occur when your body undergoes changes in the levels of progesterone and estrogen. When there is a fluctuation in the levels of these two hormones, the neurotransmitters in the brain get impacted and lead to a headache. 

Around your period, you basically get two kinds of headache – menstrual migraine and hormonal headache. Though both the headaches occur because of the hormonal upheavals in the body their symptoms vary.

Menstrual Migraine Vs Hormonal Headache 

The intensity of a hormonal headache is from mild to moderate but it is a nagging ache. This is why it causes an uncomfortable feeling. But it doesn’t cause any hindrance in your daily activities. Whereas menstrual migraine could be unbearable and incidentally around 60 per cent of women across the globe undergo menstrual migraine. People, who get frequent migraine attacks, are more susceptible to this form of migraine during periods. In menstrual migraine, the person experiences flashing lights, zigzag lines, or other sensory experiences before the throbbing pain begins. It hampers your daily activities in a big way because you won’t be able to open your eyes, think or even work. Menstrual migraine is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to bright light and sound besides the throbbing pain. 



Depending upon the severity of the menstrual migraine and hormonal headache, your first line of defence could be over-the-counter pain relievers. They are often quite effective to ease out the pain and inflammation. Some of the prominent medications include ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, aspirin and acetaminophen.


Drinking caffeinated drinks are best to treat hormonal headaches. Caffeine also constitutes one of the pivotal ingredients in some of the medications to control premenstrual syndrome in women. Even eating chocolate also takes away the discomfort of the hormonal headache. However, one should be careful about caffeine intake as it’s addictive and too much intake of caffeine gives you other issues like insomnia. Even, stopping caffeine abruptly after the periods can give you a withdrawal headache. 

Hormone therapy 

If your menstrual migraine persists even after taking the above-mentioned medications, you might need to undergo hormone therapy. Administering this therapy before your menstrual cycle helps to maintain a balance in hormones. Sometimes doctors may also ask to take estrogen supplements to rectify the hormonal imbalance. Besides migraine pain, if you’re also experiencing severe vomiting or nausea with menstrual migraine, ask your doctor about prescription anti-nausea medication. 

Relaxation exercises

One can also practise yoga, meditation and deep breathing during this phase of the month. All these practices relax your muscles, take away stress and reduce headache symptoms.

Getting enough rest

It is also one of the best ways to deal with headaches. Sometimes sleeping disorders lead to headaches. Try to take an uninterrupted sleep of seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Improve your sleep environment for better rest.

About the author: Dr. Manisha Ranjan, Obstetrician & Gynecologist from Motherhood Hospital, Noida.

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