Migraine Disease, Menstrual Migraines, and Hysterectomy

Nancy Harris Bonk Health Guide
  • Migraine disease, mentrual Migraines, and hysterectomy are typically some of our top conversations in our forum, and questions in Ask the Clinician and Ask a Question sections. There are many thoughts on how to manage menstrual Migraines, ranging from  Migraine prevention plans, dietary supplements and lifestyle changes, to more permanent options such as a hysterectomy. 


    Migraine is a genetic neurologic disease. Migraine attacks may be triggered by many things such as changes in weathersome foods, sleep problems, dehydration, and more. Hormonal changes are common Migraine triggers - these hormones include reproductive hormones and endocrine hormones such as cortisol and thyroid. In some cases, we can avoid triggering a Migraine attack by staying well hydrated, keeping a regular sleep schedule, and trying to avoid foods that may be problematic. Unforunately, avoiding menstrual Migraine is a bit more diffiuclt. Here is a question in our Ask the Clincian section: Hysterectomy as cure for Migraines and the article: Role of hormones in causing Migraines?

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    There is no easy answer if this is the case for you. Some women have been told if they have a hysterectomy, they would be free from their Migraines. First, if anyone tells you that - run out the door! That is a guarantee no one can make. An invasive procedure like a hysterectomy for Migraine relief is not the answer. No two people experience a Migraine attack the same way and the same certainly applies for women and menstrual Migraine. One size does not fit all. 


    When a neighbor down the street had a hysterectomy due to "female issues,"  she was thrilled to see a reduction in her Migraines. Other women are not as lucky and may not see any difference in their Migraines through menopause and beyond. OR a hysterectomy can even make Migraines worse.  


    I think the point many of us miss is that Migraine is a genentic neurologic disease -  having a hysterectomy will not get rid of this condition - it will just get rid of your uterus!  But by working with an expert, a Migraine/headache specialist and your GYN, you may be able to reduce your menstrual Migraines.


    Other options to be considered during our cycles are Migraine abortive and rescue medications. There have been some small studies done using Frova, a triptan, just before a menstrual cycle begins that have helped with menstrual Migraine. I use Axert or Relpax (triptans) to abort a Migraine attack during my cycle. For more information on this click HERE


    We have a discussion forum where Migraineurs with menstrual Migraine and other types of Migraine and headache disorders offer support and information. It is a wonderful network of caring and compassionate people. You can get there by clicking on this link: Migraine Community discussion forum. We hope to see you there. 

Published On: October 29, 2008