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Menstrual Headaches/Migraines - advice pls...

(7 Posts)
speaker Sat 21-Jul-07 22:41:46

Sorry this is a bit long-winded but I thought it worth seeing if anyone else experiences these type of headaches.

Have suffered with headaches and migraines for years on and off (stopped whilst pregnant with dd and ds). Over the last 12 months they are becoming more frequent, i.e. every month just before my period (2/3 days before but sometimes 4-6 days before). On researching it sounds like a drop in oestrogen levels causing the problems. I get what I call a really 'groggy' head which lasts 2/3 days sometimes longer and now nearly every month these end up with a migraine.

GP not very helpful at the moment, although she said she will look into it a bit more but in the meantime has prescribed Migramax. These haven't helped with either type of headache (the 'groggy' or migraines). She was reluctant to consider of prescribing oestrogen patches or the like.

When I have the migraines because the pain in my neck and head is so intense I always have to go to bed until pain subsides (normally last 7-12 hrs) and I'm normally sick anywhere around 3-8 times during the migraine. Also tried OTC Imigran but not much use.

Whilst I'd like to find a drug which cures the migraines from their onset (who wouldn't?) at least with the migraines I know they are going to be over in about 12 hrs and my recovery is normally pretty quick once it's gone. Therefore it is really the 'groggy' headaches that last several days that are the ones I want to try and stop as these make me feel really rough which I can't be doing with with two little ones (18mths and 3 yrs). They always start with a dull pain from the left side of my neck and also on the left side of my head. I feel I need to eat all the time (I normally try plain biscuits, porridge, etc - I try and keep away from chocolate/caffeine). The last couple of months I had felt myself getting quite hot at times and feel pretty weak. I can manage not to lie down but feel pretty rough, look 'grey' and black-eyed. I am certain it's to do with my oeastrogen levels. Anyone else experience this type of headache? Any solutions? Am trying acupuncture next week.

speaker Sat 21-Jul-07 22:44:32

Oh. Forgot to say. have been looking at various websites for advice. Thinking of visiting the City of London Migraine Clinic. Don't live in London (live in Cheshire) but has anyone else been there to discuss menstrual headaches?

Countingthegreyhairs Sat 21-Jul-07 23:27:30

Hi Speaker - have a related but slightly different problem - and didn't want your post to go unaswered because it sounds as if you are having a really rotten time. Poor you - I know what an impact severe headaches can have on your life, particularly when you are looking after toddlers - it's impossible to bend down to their level or withstand noise or movement isn't it?

I have hormone related headaches but they are more like sinus headaches not migraine. They can be on either the left or right side of my head, behind one eye, and I have nausea and exactly the same 'need to eat' feeling you describe. I get them just after my period and like you try to avoid coffee/alcohol/orange juice etc, also try to stay upright and not lie down (not always possible).

Basically after loads of medical investigations (blood test, eye exam etc) which all came back negative, my gynaecologist told me the headaches were probably related to the hormones which cause af to flow and stop, having the same effect on my sinuses (if that makes sense) thus causing pain.) I can't do anything about it atm, because I'm ttc but perhaps altering your contraception might help??

The things that have made the most difference to me is not eating oranges or drinking red wine (bummer this last one!) Sorry - not telling you much that you don't already know - hope you find a solution!!

Desiderata Sat 21-Jul-07 23:33:18

Stand with your feet about a foot apart. Relax your body. Stand straight.

<do this all the time, not just when the headaches hit>

Put your hands loosely at your side, and drop your head back at the neck. It will hurt. It will feel like you've got a goose egg in your neck. Look at the ceiling for as long as you can. Keep with it, because it will hurt at first.

Then, bend from the waist and try to drop your hands onto the floor (preferably your palms).

Do both of these for as long as you can, every day. You will suffer no more.

BettySpaghetti Sun 22-Jul-07 08:37:22

speaker -are you on any form of contraceptive pill? or any other medication?

Its just that I suffered from horrendous headaches/migraines at the same point in my cycle every month whilst I was taking Microgynon. As soon as the GP swapped me to another one the headaches stopped.

babygrand Sun 22-Jul-07 08:39:59

This is interesting. I too have had migraines for years, but it is only in the last year or so that I have been able to link them to my period. I too take microgynon, but I've been on it for years, so it's weird that this has only happened recently.

speaker Sun 22-Jul-07 20:46:23

Sorry had to go out un expected all day today so just catching up with messages. Thanks all for replying. Bettyspaghetti, not on any meds or contraception at mo. Was on Noriday (progestroegen only) but still got headaches with or without them.

Desiderata - from your experience, does this help hormonal headaches?

Will let you know how I go on with the acupuncture tomorrow.

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