Migraine attacks occurring in women during menstruation are often more severe than attacks occurring at other times. The fluctuation in hormonal levels during the menstrual cycle and especially prior to menstruation is believed to make the sufferer more susceptible at that time.
Some researchers report an ‘oestrogen priming’ effect during a womens normal menstrual cycle whereby the sudden drop in oestrogen prior to menstruation precipitates a withdrawal response leading to migraine. These theories however, still require further investigation and the link between the menstrual cycle and migraine is not properly understood at this stage.
It has been demonstrated however, that contraceptive and hormonal medications often affect menstrual migraines, causing a worsening in some cases, relief in others. The important consideration in such cases is the investigation and treatment for readily treatable conditions which may further predispose the sufferer to menstrual migraines including: neck problems, eyestrain, poor dietary habits, dental and jaw problems etc..
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