Headaches can occur due to a number of different reasons on both men and women. Some of the most common reasons are stress, bad eating habits, exhaustion or an illness. But for women who have noticed a relationship between headaches and changes in hormonal levels the following information could be useful.
Headaches during the menstrual cycle
There are two hormones that play a key role during your menstrual cycle, these are estrogen and progesterone. These hormones have been linked with chemicals which cause headaches. The levels of these hormones change during a woman’s menstrual cycle and during pregnancy. When they are at their lowest levels, migraines and headaches occur more often. To improve the headaches which occur in these cases it is important to maintain steady estrogen levels.
How to treat it
Many of these treatments are valid in cases of non-hormonal migraines and headaches as well:
- Stress relieving exercises. Try yoga or just meditate in the comfort of your home eliminating all stress contributing factors.
- Applying ice. Hold a cold cloth or an ice pack to the painful area on your head or neck.
- Acupuncture may improve your headaches and help you relax.
- Take pain relievers. Consult with your doctor for what kind of pain relievers he would recommend that you use.
- Take triptans. Triptans block the pain signal to your brain. They can also control vomiting and usually take effect within 2 hours.
A consultation with your doctor will allow for a more targeted treatment approach. This may be particularly important in cases where the migraines occur on a daily basis and in time frames before and after your menstrual cycle.
Hormonal contraception effects
Any type of hormonal contraception method (birth control pill, vaginal rings etc.) can in turn either increase or alleviate headaches. If you have started using a hormonal contraception method recently bear in mind the possibility of such changes. If you start experiencing headache visit your doctor for additional advice.
Keep in mind that a healthy lifestyle will help reduce the frequency, length and intensity of your pain.