Can Periods Cause headaches?

Women suffering from headache

Yes, some people experience headaches or migraines as a result of their menstrual cycle. These are often referred to as “menstrual headaches” or “menstrual migraines.” Menstrual headaches are typically associated with the hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle.

The primary hormone involved in these headaches is estrogen, which fluctuates throughout the menstrual cycle. Estrogen levels drop just before menstruation begins, and this hormonal shift can trigger headaches in some individuals. These headaches may occur in the days leading up to the start of menstruation (premenstrual) or during the first few days of menstruation itself.

The characteristics of menstrual headaches can vary, but they are often similar to tension-type headaches or migraines and may include symptoms such as:

  • Throbbing or pulsating pain on one or both sides of the head.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Sensitivity to light and sound.
  • Visual disturbances (for migraines).
  • Changes in appetite.
  • Irritability and mood changes.

If you experience severe or debilitating headaches during your menstrual cycle, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider. They can help determine whether your headaches are indeed related to your menstrual cycle and develop a treatment plan to manage the symptoms. Treatment options may include over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription medications, hormonal therapy, lifestyle modifications, and other strategies to help prevent and alleviate menstrual headaches.

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