Hormonal headaches - help please

Hi. I have suffered the occasional serious migraine attack thankfully not very often in my life but having recently started the menopause, am struggling 3 - 4 days every month with headaches which I am not sure I would describe as migraines but they are constant and debilitating and no drugs seem to be able to shift them - can anyone confirm if these qualify as migraines please? I have been prescribed sumatriptan by my doctor but even they do not work. I am having the Mirena coil fitted next week and am hoping this will help but would appreciate any advice on this issue.

13 Replies

  • they sound like my migraines !! the good news is that they eased up after a while but a couple of years later I started getting impossible night sweats and hrt patches have eased the sweats to one a night, but the migraines are back !! who would be female :(

  • I get about 15 migraines per month but nothing helps the hormonal ones unfortunately. The coil made it worse for me, I was bleeding constantly.

  • Hi. So sorry to hear your suffering. I also get about 15 attacks a month. I am 43 and am dreading the menopause. I've tried all sorts of preventatives - beta blockers, noratriptaline, amyltriptaline, pizotifen - with very little success. I am now looking at the hormonal route but wanted to ask if the coil made your migraines worse or worse for your periods.

  • HRT works for me. The big advantage of having the mirena fitted is that you will be able to take a consistent dose of oestrogen in addition to it as it is hormone fluctuations that cause the problems. I got diagnosed with chronic migraine with mine. But a triptan did work for me - found rizatriptan wafers the best. But I can only get away with treating once or twice a month or I get medication overuse headaches.

  • Hi. Glad you are having success with HRT and mirena coil. Can I ask - do you take hrt for menoupause? I am pre-menoupausal and am considering the estrogen patch as I've tried pretty much everything else and migraine is ruining my life.

  • You are so right Sybille!!! I have migraines about 4 a month which i absolutely hate but can control them with Sumatriptan but once a month I get a hormone migraine which nothing stops! I'm 42 and just hope I have my menopause really early as I'm hoping this will stop / ease migraines!!!!

  • Hi Audrey, I too am in my 50s and found that my migraines got more frequent with the menopause - and the hot flushes came too. I spent about 18 months feeling thoroughly rundown and either asleep or rushing to catch up. HRT eased the problem for the 2 years they let you take it and then I had another 18 months of discomfort when I came off it. Good news is once you get the hormones out of your system you start to feel better. The hot flushes are only occasional now and the migraines are much diminished in intensity. So my experience is that the menopause does help in the longterm but there is a lot of discomfort going through it. Getting enough rest helps, though is not always possible to organise. I have heard good reports of working part time rather than full time, if that is possible for you.. You might find that a migraine diary helps you identify triggers. Good luck

  • Yes the coil made the migraines worse as well.

  • Have a look at Soya Isoflavones on the internet. I take them every day and for the first three months, I had no migraines at all - unheard of for a couple of years previously! My migraines did start to come back again but not as badly as before. They are a natural hormone leveller and can also help with night sweats etc. I buy mine from Healthspan.co.uk as they're the cheapest, but I have bought them from my local health food shop in the past. Definitely worth looking into.

  • Hi

    I get two migraines on average a month. One I can control with prescribed medication but the other which is an hormonal one (occurs about 5 days before my period) completely knocks me out. No medication will get rid of it and it lasts between 2-4 days.

    The mirena (along with other hormonal treatments) made my migraine attacks more freqrent and severe .

    I'm 43 and had migraines for 18+ years.

  • I feel for you! I too get hormonal migraines...dread them as they knock me out for 3-4 days too then feel groggy and hungover for another few days afterwards. I'm in my late 30s now and have found that as I've got older they have gone worse and worse - used to get what I now class as mild migraines whereby I would feel pain, be sick and then the pain would ease up but now no matter what I do the pain, nausea and upset stomach last for a few days each month.

    I have sumatriptan injections for the days when I wake with them (basically every day on the run up to my period starting - usually starts from about 3-4 days before it arrives). I also have zomig spray and take 10 mg of that if I feel one starting later in the day and when taking sumatriptan I take 1 injection then take another an hour later if its not fully gone. I also take aspirin 900 mg at the start of an attack before the head pain starts (although don't always get a warning) and domperidone as well for the nausea.

    I find that although the triptans ease the pain that nothing works for the hormonal ones other than trying to stay in a dark room and lie quietly waiting for them to go. On the odd occasion where I get one that isn't around that time of the month I find the triptans work much better. I'm also on labetalol beta blocker 100 mg twice a day as a preventative too.

    Have you any other triggers? I find that if I'm over-tired, haven't eaten or drank enough, bright light (worse this time of year with the dark days and false light) and if I get too hot or too cold, thundery weather all seem to trigger mine too.

    good luck!

  • Hello I had monthly migraines with my period lasting between 1 and 6 days, I tried all sorts of prescribed drugs from the GP but nothing worked. I have now been migraine free for nearly two years, this is due to taking herbal tinctures, I take 1 teaspoon of Agnus Castus tincture per day, this regulates hormones, and 1 teaspoon of Damiana tincture per day, this supports good liver function in breaking down hormones, it is advisable to see a herbalist though to see if this is right for you, but I am so relieved to have found a solution to this debilitating problem. I really would recommend seeing a herbalist and finding out if this could work for you. Good luck.

  • Hi I am 46 and have had the hormonal migraines for about 3 years. I take sumatriptan along with an anti nausea med. it usually works but makes me feel awful. I also have a mirena. I've had it for about three months I'm not sure if they are worse or better. It's been inconsistent. So I'm waiting a few more months to see if its helping.

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