Hormone-related headache.Med Clin North Am. 2001 Jul; 85(4):1017-35.MC
The normal female life cycle is associated with hormonal milestones including menarche, pregnancy, OC use, menopause, and the use of HRT. Menarche marks the onset of menses and cyclic changes in hormone levels. Pregnancy is associated with rising noncyclic levels of sex hormones. Menopause is associated with declining noncyclic levels. Hormonal OC use during the reproductive years and HRT in menopause are therapeutic hormonal interventions that alter the levels and cycling of sex hormones. These events and interventions may cause a change in the prevalence or intensity of headache. Headaches associated with OC use or menopausal HRT may be related, in part, to periodic discontinuation of oral sex hormone preparations. The treatment of migraine associated with changes in sex hormone levels is difficult, and patients often are refractory to therapy. Based on what is known of the pathophysiology of migraine, a logical approach to the treatment of headaches that are associated with menses, menopause, and OCs using abortive and preventive medications and hormonal manipulations has been presented.