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Expert advice on advanced diagnosis and treatment of painful headaches and migraines from the leading headache clinic in New Jersey.

Hormonal Headaches

New Jersey Headache Institute - Friday, September 20, 2013

Payman Sadeghi, MD

How to combat those menstrual headaches once and for all

If the dreaded “time of the month” has you reaching for the pill bottle, you could be suffering from menstrual or hormone headaches. These headaches are quite common. At the New Jersey Headache Institute we have extensive experience in dealing with headaches affecting women at different times during their monthly menstrual cycle.

What Causes Menstrual Headaches?

There are many triggers that can cause a headache for both women and for men.  Regular or particularly bad headaches or migraines can be attributed to family history or age for example.  However, women often notice there is a definite connection between hormonal changes and their headaches.

Menstrual headaches are often down to an imbalance of hormones, namely estrogen and progesterone.  These two hormones play a major part in regulating the menstrual cycle and can also affect the chemicals in the brain that are related to headaches. While steady estrogen levels can reduce the onset of headaches, a lower level can make headaches worse.  The good news is that we understand these fluctuating hormones and can help you to treat and, more importantly, prevent these headaches.

Can Menstrual Headaches Be Prevented?

This is a question we are asked a lot and the answer is different for different people.  In many cases we have helped our patients to eliminate menstrual and hormonal headaches completely from their lives.  The key lies in maintaining the body’s hormone levels and making a few life changes around that time of the month.  

When we devise a treatment plan we often look at different factors such as:

  • A patient’s age
  • The other symptoms accompanying the headache
  • The severity of the headache
  • Any treatment or preventative measures that are currently being used
  • Family history - menstrual migraine can often be genetic

Because menstrual headaches and migraine are caused by a drop in hormone levels it makes sense to address this first. By taking birth control pills, for example, you can balance your hormones and ease the headaches.  Diet and exercise can also affect the impact of menstrual headaches. Our team can give you plenty of practical advice on the natural things you can do to help ease headaches and migraine during your period.

How To Treat Menstrual Migraine and Headaches

A menstrual headache is really no different in nature to a normal headache.  It just seems more intense as it is usually accompanied by abdominal cramps, mood swings and all of the other annoying “time of the month” symptoms. 
Ibuprofen is very effective at easing headache pain and you may also get relief from massage and resting in a dark and quiet room.

At the New Jersey Headache Institute, we offer a wealth of advice and assistance when it comes to managing menstrual headaches.  Speak to us today and we will devise the right treatment plan for you.

Call our specialist consultation team today at 908.315.5707 or use our contact form to book a consultation about menstrual headaches.

Dr. Payman Sadeghi is the co-founder of the New Jersey Headache Institute. He studied medicine at Nordestana University and finished his Internal Medicine internship and Neurology residency at the University of Texas.  Dr. Sadeghi has completed an electromyography super fellowship as well as many epilepsy and neuroimaging fellowships. At his residency in Neurology at the University of Texas Medical Branch Dr. Sadeghi gained extensive experience diagnosing and treating headache and migraine patients. That residency, along with Dr. Sadeghi's medical curiosity and his varied clinical experience, has made him a specialist in headaches and their treatment.

Dr. Sadeghi was also a clinical assistant professor during his time at the University of Texas. He is a member of the American Headache Society, the National Headache Foundation and the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Sadeghi is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Persian.


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