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Migraines and menopause- can anyone give me some advice?

(5 Posts)
Sammycat123 Wed 05-Oct-16 10:40:09

I have experienced migraines since I was 35 and had my second child. I went to all the migraine clinics and did all the diets/medication and we came to the conclusion they were largely hormonal. At 40 the neurologist recommended that I went back on the pill even taking the risks into account as I had a good brain scan, never smoked, target weight, etc. This gave me my life back and I was able to start my career again and have a fab family life. I have battled to stay on the pill because in the pill free break I always get a severe migraine. I am now 45 and have noticed that in the last year my periods have stopped. Could I be having an early menopause? I started my periods at 10. No other symptoms really. Not stressed.
I stopped taking the pill 2 weeks ago because it seems ridiculous to take it with no periods! But I have had constant headaches and migraines since.
I am reluctant to talk to a doctor as I worry they will say I can't continue the pill and won't give me anything else. I already take nortrityline as a preventative.
Has anyone been treated for migraines during menopause? Is HRT an option?
All advice greatfully received!

PollyPerky Wed 05-Oct-16 11:18:48

I think you should ask your GP for a referral to a gynae who has an interest in menopause, early menopause and migraines- they all specialise in different things so maybe do some research of gynaes in your area- look at websites of local private hospitals.

You need some assessment of your hormones to see why your periods have stopped. It can be that the Pill can mask meno symptoms so you could find they do come before too long.

There are a few things you need to think about: first, you are young to be menopausal so you'd be advised by many drs to use HRT at least up to age 51. However, some younger women are saying on forums that there is a new BC Pill- Qlaira (sp?) which gives a good level of steady hormones and is used for women having an early menopause.

The thing about using HRT is that it might make your migraine better or it might stay the same. I have had hormonal migraines all my life but they have dwindled to nothing as long as I avoid my own triggers (lack of sleep and lack of food). I tend to get a migraine during the withdrawal week of HRT sometimes, but it's a small price to pay for the benefits.

I think you are going to have to experiment and see what helps. Don't let any dr tell you that HRT is not 'allowed' for anyone with migraines. My consultant says it's fine.

Sammycat123 Fri 07-Oct-16 08:40:36

Thanks so much pollyperky, I have made an appointment at my docs and will research gynaecologists with migraine speciality. I'm so glad you told me what your consultant said about migraines and HRT.

river1 Sat 08-Oct-16 10:19:44

Sammycat, sorry to hear about your migraines. I am not exactly in your situation in that I still have a regular cycle but I'm 47 and it's clear that hormone fluctuations are having a major impact. I've just started in the pill in desperation (Zoely which has bioidentical estradiol) but for 5 months I tried the estradiol patch ie hrt. In the first month and when I raised by dose it had a clear effect and reduced the worst migraines significantly. It def didn't make them worse but my problem was that my cycle was overriding the patch and I was still having periods despite no added progesterone. So in your situation I would certainly say it's worth trying! If private is an option then I would recommend prof anne Macgregor who is a headache/hormone specialist and is top of the tree. I just hope the bcp works as well for me as it did for you - at the moment it's just making me feel low😟. All the best

river1 Sat 08-Oct-16 10:26:03

Ps when you went back on the pill, do you remember how soon it improved your migraine?

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