Hormonal manipulation strategies in the management of menstrual migraine and other hormonally related headaches.Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2011 Apr; 11(2):131-8.CN
Menstrual migraine and other hormonally related headaches are common in women. Falling estrogen levels or estrogen withdrawal after periods of sustained higher levels can trigger migraine. It makes sense to target this trigger for management of hormonally related headaches, particularly when nonhormonal strategies have been unsuccessful. Decision making regarding the use of hormonal contraception and menopausal hormone therapy is complex and commonly driven by other factors, but hormonal manipulation can potentially improve the course of migraine. Providers caring for migraineurs are appropriately concerned about stroke risk. Estrogen-containing hormonal contraceptives are relatively contraindicated for women who have migraine with aura. Postmenopausal hormone therapy is acceptable for women with a history of migraine. For these women, transdermal estradiol is recommended. Estrogen replacement is important for women who undergo an early menopause, whether natural or induced. Practical strategies for hormonal manipulation in the management of migraine and other hormonally related headaches are presented.