A new study has found that women who are prone to migraines may experience these incapacitating headaches, with increased frequency, as they approach menopause. As the progesterone and oestrogen levels rise during perimenopause, headaches are triggered, suggests co-author of the study Dr. Richard Lipton, Vice Chair of Neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City. During perimenopause, a woman’s body makes a natural transition towards permanent infertility.Symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, irritability, insomnia and depression. These symptoms occur with increased frequency during the perimenopause phase. The research study followed 3,600 women who were subject to migraines during pre-menopause and menopause. It was observed that their chances of high-frequency migraines increased by 60% during the transition. It was also found that the risk was significant during the later stage of perimenopause.

Not to worry, measures can be taken to control the occurrences of migraines. For women going through perimenopause or menopause, hormonal therapies can be prescribed. Perimenopause can be countered through birth control pills, while menopause can be tackled with oestrogen patches.

“Probably in perimenopausal women it’s strictly hormones, but in menopausal women there was a huge uptake in medications to treat headaches,” “If you start using a lot of these pain medications that might cause something called rebound headaches, which may be different.”

Dr. Vincent T. Martin, University Of Cincinnati College Of Medicine, on Reuters.com.

Medications that commonly prevent migraines include magnesium, aspirin, ergots, triptans and hormone therapy. Triptans and NSAIDs stop a migraine once it has already begun. Hormone therapy can have different effects on different women; for some it causes a reduction in migraines, whereas in others it can worsen the symptoms. Therefore, it is essential to consult a medical professional with follow-up care when undertaking such treatments.

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