What Are the Different Types of Menstrual Migraine Treatments?

Clara Kedrek
Clara Kedrek
Sumatriptan may help relieve menstrual migraines.
Sumatriptan may help relieve menstrual migraines.

A number of different menstrual migraine treatments are available to women who suffer from this condition. Many women are advised to make adjustments to their lifestyles, such as eating healthy food and getting enough sleep. A variety of medications are available either to treat the headache after it starts or to prevent the headaches entirely. Complementary and alternative medicine treatment options such as acupuncture and biofeedback are available to women who wish to limit the number of drugs they take.

Menstrual migraines are not prefaced by the auras that often accompany traditional migraines.
Menstrual migraines are not prefaced by the auras that often accompany traditional migraines.

Some menstrual migraine treatments involve making lifestyle changes to help prevent the headaches from occurring. Women affected by this condition should be sure to get enough sleep, especially in the weeks before they expect to have their menses. They should avoid foods such as chocolate, red wine, and aged cheese, as these have been known to trigger migraines.

Some women find that menstrual migraines occur more often during puberty and early adulthood.
Some women find that menstrual migraines occur more often during puberty and early adulthood.

An important aspect of menstrual migraine treatments is to provide medications that can stop the headache after it starts. Some women experience pain relief by taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen after the migraine symptoms begin. Prescription medications in the triptan class of drugs, such as sumatriptan, are also helpful in halting the migraine symptoms. Taking both a triptan medication and an NSAID is an additional option for stopping these headaches.

Hormonal changes throughout the menstrual cycle can cause migraines and a number of other side effects.
Hormonal changes throughout the menstrual cycle can cause migraines and a number of other side effects.

Another approach to treating these headaches is to use a daily medication to prevent them from occurring. Prescription medications such as beta blockers, a class of medications most commonly used to treat elevated blood pressure, are helpful in warding off these cyclical headaches. A low dose of medications in the tricyclic antidepressant class can also be taken daily for prevention. Some doctors have also prescribed low doses of medications from the triptan class to be taken daily as a prophylactic measure.

Some women can get relief from NSAIDs like ibuprofen after migraine symptoms begin.
Some women can get relief from NSAIDs like ibuprofen after migraine symptoms begin.

Other menstrual migraine treatments involve giving women low doses of daily hormones. One common choice is a combination oral contraceptive pill, which contains both estrogen and progesterone. Women could also take estrogen-only medications. It is thought that the hormonal medications can prevent menstrual migraines by eliminating the hormonal shifts that are thought to be the cause of these headaches.

Low doses of hormones through oral contraceptive pills can help to ease menstrual migraines.
Low doses of hormones through oral contraceptive pills can help to ease menstrual migraines.

Complementary and alternative medicine also offers some menstrual migraine treatments. Acupuncture, which is technique that inserts needles into various locations on the body, has helped alleviate some menstrual migraine symptoms. The application of cold, medicated compresses can be used to help decrease some of the pain in the head. In addition, magnesium is often given as a preventative medication. Biofeedback, a technique that makes patients aware of how their body is working, can also be used to treat menstrual migraines.

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    • Sumatriptan may help relieve menstrual migraines.
      By: Feng Yu
      Sumatriptan may help relieve menstrual migraines.
    • Menstrual migraines are not prefaced by the auras that often accompany traditional migraines.
      By: Subbotina Anna
      Menstrual migraines are not prefaced by the auras that often accompany traditional migraines.
    • Some women find that menstrual migraines occur more often during puberty and early adulthood.
      By: vbaleha
      Some women find that menstrual migraines occur more often during puberty and early adulthood.
    • Hormonal changes throughout the menstrual cycle can cause migraines and a number of other side effects.
      By: designua
      Hormonal changes throughout the menstrual cycle can cause migraines and a number of other side effects.
    • Some women can get relief from NSAIDs like ibuprofen after migraine symptoms begin.
      By: Dennis Kennedy
      Some women can get relief from NSAIDs like ibuprofen after migraine symptoms begin.
    • Low doses of hormones through oral contraceptive pills can help to ease menstrual migraines.
      By: areeya_ann
      Low doses of hormones through oral contraceptive pills can help to ease menstrual migraines.