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Migraines and Headaches Community
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Avatar universal

Has anyone ever heard of menstrual migraines?

I get migraines once a month and it always lasts for 3 days in a row... My gynecologist called it menstrual migraines.. does anyone else have this same thing... and if so what do you take for it?
5 Responses
351246 tn?1379685732
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi
Welcome to the forum!
Yes, migraine can be a part of pre menstrual tension. They can come just before or during or even after a period.  Smoking and alcohol are known to precipitate it and so also stress. Eating small frequent meals helps. Some benefit by taking vitamin supplements and calcium. NSAIDS or non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen also help. Please discuss this with your gynecologist and take for if you are on contraceptive pills then these can aggravate acidity.
Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
768044 tn?1294227036
Hi there!

Yes, Menstrual Migraines are a type of migraine! I get menstrual migraines, but I also get other types of migraines too so I don't take a medication that is specific for menstrual migraines.

A medication that you should ask your doctor about is an acute medication that is specifically for menstrual migraines. It is called Frovatriptan. Frovatriptan belongs to a class of medication called triptans, and triptans are used to treat acute migraines. There are many brands of triptans on the market (Imitrex, Maxalt, Zomig, Axert... to name a few) but Frovatriptan is different from all of them and is used specifically for menstrual migraines. Frova is the brand name of the medication and Frovatriptan is the generic name of the medication.

The way that Frovatriptan works that is different from regular triptans is that a much longer half-life, that means it stays in your body for much longer than the other forms of triptans. In fact, the medication will stay in your body for up to a whole day. Menstrual Migraines are known to often be much more severe than regular migraines and are known to come back in the same day after successfully being treated with regular triptans so that is one reason why Frova is such a good option.

Also, there are currently studies being done where Frova is used as a preventative measure, on tablet taken once a day, 2 days prior to the start of your period, for 6 days (so that means only 6 days a month, so only 6 tablets a month)... and people completely stop getting their menstrual migraines in the studies. BUT! Only phase 2 of this trial has been completed I think... maybe phase 3 has been completed as well but it has NOT been approved by the FDA yet to be used by this. Right now the only way it has been approved to be used is like all the other triptans, for acute use only. We don't know the results of using triptans if you don't have a headache or using them daily without a headache over a long period of time over a large population. So, what I am saying is "don't try this at home". But, it would be worth talking to your doctor about this. They might know about these studies. Especially if you see a neurologist. A neurologist may be able to approve the off-label use of the medication like this, I don't know. Either way, the medication SHOULD be approved to be used like this in the next few years and then your doctor can prescribe it to you like this and it can be used in this manner safely.

Okay... as for other things. Well. basically. Any triptan should help a migraine, even a menstrual migraine. Frova is probably your first and best choice triptan wise for menstrual migraines... but any triptan will also do. I suggest fast acting triptans such as quick dissolve tablets, called orally disintegrating tablets OR nasal sprays. You need a prescription for any triptan.

Another thing that is great for menstrual migraines because it will also help with menstrual cramps is taking a supplement called Magnesium. Check with your doctor first about adding any supplement to your daily routine. But, for headaches the recommended dose that has been shown effective in clinical trials is 400mg of magnesium a day. And, out of all the supplements that help with headaches, magnesium I think is the best choice because it will also help with both menstrual cramps and lower back pain. Since you just get menstrual migraines, it would probably be effective if you only took the magnesium the week before and the week of your period... although I bet that your doctor would suggest taking it all month. Ask your doctor to be sure. Other supplements that help migraines in general are 400mg of B2 daily and 300mg of CoQ10 daily... but, these are general migraine tips, not specific to menstrual migraines.

Something that I did personally do for my menstrual migraines that I don't do anymore was use an estrogen that my doctor prescribed just prior to my period and for a few days into my period. But, you can't do this if you are on any other type of hormones such as birth control. Only your gynecologist or neurologist or family doctor can prescribe you something like that. It was an estrogen gel that I rubbed onto my arms, normally used for menopause I think... but it was to try to help my estrogen levels not dip during my period... so that they would stay level. Because it is the fluctuations in hormones that triggers the headaches. Not sure if the estrogen helped much though.

If your headaches are really severe and you miss work or school for those 3 days every month, and the pain is so severe that you feel you can not control it with the acute medication I have mentioned above (you must try it first, on the advice of your doctor of course) then the other option is daily preventative medication that you take every day of the month. There are three classes of daily preventative medication: Antidepressants, Anticonvulsants or Betablockers. Some people get Botox Injections every 3 months instead of taking daily medication, although this is expensive. All of these are options if your menstrual migraines are so severe that they comp interrupt your life for those 3 days every month and the pain is so severe that you are at risk to yourself and the pain is unmanageable using triptans, pain killers or other methods. Then a neurologists would probably suggest daily medication. But... that would probably be a last option in your case... but, I just wanted to throw that out there that there is always that last option for people who can't control their migraines in an acute fashion. That's what I have to do, because I get more than 15 migraines a month and the acute medications don't always work for me. So, I always want to let people know that there are always lots of options.  

Hope that helps! Let us know if you find something that helps your menstrual migraines! :)
1037594 tn?1258565779
Yes every month when my g/f gets her cycle I get migraines every time!
365714 tn?1292202708
After I stopped taking tylanol on a regular basis for migrane like headaches (was giving me rebound headaches), seems now my worst migrane attacks come around that week or two each month, besides occasional random attacks. I tend to get really bad PMS like symptoms about a week before, bloating, weight gain, sometimes two or three lbs, mood swings, tension headaches and the like.

On the first day, usually I get pretty bad cramping too. Migrane headaches can come any time that span, before or durring. Not fun to be a female at such a time, is it?
968908 tn?1274874715
Oh dear.... hahaha thats funny!!!!
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