Woman with migraine headache

It comes on suddenly with intense, throbbing pain often on one side of your head. Lights and loud noises make the pain seem even worse. It’s another migraine and you know it can last for up to 72 hours. This is nothing like an everyday tension headache and it doesn’t respond to the usual over-the-counter pain remedies.

More than 28 million people in the US suffer from migraine headaches and while the painful condition affects both sexes, women in their reproductive years are 3 times more likely to have migraines than men. Many women notice that their migraines occur right around the start of their menstrual periods, just when levels of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone fall sharply. Estrogen is known to play a part in the brain’s regulation of pain but the exact hormone/migraine linkage is complex and still unclear.

If you suffer from migraines during your period or at other times, it’s important to understand your personal triggers for the attacks. For some women, it’s stress, for others certain foods, and for some, it is oral contraceptives, or just “that time of the month”. Keep a detailed migraine journal that notes time, place, and what you were doing just before your migraine headache started. Bring your journal with you when you visit Dr. Amy Siegel. As a female gynecologist she knows it’s not “all in your mind” and she’s ready to help you get your life back.

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