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  • Updated 10.23.2016
  • Released 11.23.1993
  • Expires For CME 10.23.2019

Headache associated with hormonal fluctuations


This article includes discussion of headache associated with hormonal fluctuations, acephalic migraine associated with hormonal fluctuations, basilar migraine associated with hormonal fluctuations, hemiplegic migraine associated with hormonal fluctuations, ophthalmoplegic migraine associated with hormonal fluctuations, and retinal migraine associated with hormonal fluctuations. The foregoing terms may include synonyms, similar disorders, variations in usage, and abbreviations.


In this article, the author reviews the complex relations between headache and ovarian sex hormones in women. The author discusses the changes in headache patterns during the major hormonal events (menarche, pregnancy, menopause) in the woman's life cycle and the effects of hormonal contraception and hormone replacement therapy on headache. Advances in elucidating the association between hormonal milieu and headache and new data on the possible mechanisms through which estrogen affects migraine and pain perception are presented. Therapeutic approaches and evidence-based practice regarding the management of menstrual migraine, migraine during pregnancy, and migraine in the perimenopausal and postmenopausal periods are analyzed. The potential complications and benefits of the use of hormonal contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy in women with migraine are also discussed based on evidence from clinical studies.

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