Emma Ginns – GP with an interest in the menopause
Migraines and the menopause.
Migraines can become more common during the perimenopause and menopause, due to a fall in estrogen levels. Migraines can also be triggered by other perimenopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, disturbed sleep and mood changes.
Migraines can be helped by a healthy lifestyle; regular exercise, sleeping and eating at regular times, keeping well hydrated and limiting alcohol and caffeine intake can all help.
HRT can also be effective at reducing the symptoms of migraine at this time of life. The safest way to take estrogen is through your skin – applied via a patch, gel or spray. When applied via your skin (transdermally) it does not increase your risk of a blood clot or stroke, and is safe for women who have migraines (with or without aura).
The HRT patches release a steady dose of hormones, which can be preferable for many women with migraines. Women who have not had a hysterectomy would also require progesterone hormone, which can be given orally via a capsule such as Utrogestan or via a Mirena coil fitted into your womb.