Success with ovary removal, anyone? Menstrual Migraines

Caroline Community Member July 25, 2007
  • Good afternoon, everyone.


    My name is Caroline and like many of your here, I suffer from migraines.  I suffered my migraines all my life, but was only diagnosed 2 years ago.  I am blessed to have a wonderful neurologist here in DC.  She's great because she also welcomes patients to try non-drug therapies if that suits them and will work with you and your alternative therapist.  Not a lot of western-taught physicians explore that.


    At any rate, I take topomax twice a day (2 50 mg tablets, for a total of 100 mg) with relative success.  There is one problem that won't go away and has gotten worse - my menstrual migraines.


    My neuro sent me to a Estrogen specialist, explaining that for most women the problem caused by fluctuated estrogen levels. 


    To date (7.25.07) I have tried:

    • Estrogen pills prior to onset of period
    • Seasonale
    • Seasonique
    • and as of right now the Nuvaring.  I got a sharp blinding headache this morning and knew my cycle was about to start.

     I am at my wits end.  The estrogen specialist who is not on my insurance said we can remove my ovaries, totally explaining it is a GAMBLE - 50% of women never have migraines again; the other 50% are no better or worse, except they just gave some hospital alot of money. (Makes sense considering most migraines are hormonal - most suffers are women) He thinks we will have success.


    I am willing to take the gamble. I went back to my gynecologist (who actually knows the Estrogen Specialist - they went Harvard together)But is against me having surgery - which he calls "extreme", even though I am 38 and don't want children.


    How do I:

    • convince my gynecologist this might be might best way to go
    • or respectifully "fire" him and find a doctor on my insurance plan
    • find another solution.

    My gynecologist said he hates to see me suffer, and that we can keep playing with this.  I do like the Nuvaring better than the pill, as there  they are less side effects, and I can use it as birth control as well (interestingly enough, Topomax lessens the effect of oral contraceptives, and I was warned to use a back up method)


    Any suggestions on greatly welcomed.  You are talking to a person who has had menstrual migraines so bad that twice I've gone to urgent care clinics for shots of demoral.


    Oh and by the way I've tried several medications strictly for menstural migraines (frova, etc). Didn't work.


    Cheers,


    Caroline

7 Comments
  • Teri Robert
    Health Guide
    Jul. 25, 2007

    Caroline,

     

    Hello, and welcome to MyMigraineConnection.com!  

     

    From seven years of reading, researching, attending medical conferences, and hearing people's experiences, I have to take exception with what you've been told about these percentages. I would put it more at 33% each for improvement, getting worse, and no difference from removal...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Caroline,

     

    Hello, and welcome to MyMigraineConnection.com!  

     

    From seven years of reading, researching, attending medical conferences, and hearing people's experiences, I have to take exception with what you've been told about these percentages. I would put it more at 33% each for improvement, getting worse, and no difference from removal of the ovaries.

     

    There's something you didn't mention that I'd think would be worth a try before proceeding with removal of your ovaries. There have been quite successful clinical trials using the triptans Amerge and Frova as preventives for menstrually-triggered Migraines. They're not taken all month, just the week of your period. You can read more in the article Frova Trial for Menstrual Migraine Successful.

     

    You might also want to join our forum and discuss this with some of the ladies there. There's more info about the forum below...

     

     

    Thank you for creating a SharePost. SharePosts are a form of blogging, and there are many things you can do with them. You can share an experience, suggest something that's helped you, use SharePosts as a Migraine and headache journal, and many other things.

    We also have a discussion forum that you may want to check out. Especially if you have questions or are looking for information, you may find the interaction on the forum to be quite helpful. To get to the forum, just look for the orange box marked "Manage" and click on the Migraine Forums link. Because our forums are maintained by a third party, you'll need to register for the forum. You can use the same information you used to create your community log-in if you like. If you want to go directly to the forum, you can click HERE.

    Along with your personal "My Home" page and the discussion forum, you'll find links to a great deal of helpful information on the main page of our site, http://www.MyMigraineConnection.com.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to post them to the forum or send me a message through my profile.

    Welcome again,
    Teri Robert
    MyMigraineConnection.com Lead Expert

    PS: If you receive this message from more than one of us, please excuse the overlap. Thanks!

     

  • emmagoldman
    Feb. 08, 2012

    I develped migraines (non aura) over 20 yrs ago after a whiplash accident.  I knew the pain got much worse right before and during my period, but no doctor seemed to care. In recent years (I am 48) the menstrual migraines were so extreme that I could count on being incapacitated 2 - 3 days a month.  Then a doctor suggested that i even out my estrogen...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I develped migraines (non aura) over 20 yrs ago after a whiplash accident.  I knew the pain got much worse right before and during my period, but no doctor seemed to care. In recent years (I am 48) the menstrual migraines were so extreme that I could count on being incapacitated 2 - 3 days a month.  Then a doctor suggested that i even out my estrogen levels by taking bc pills daily.  This has eliminated the most deadly menstrual migraines, since I no longer have my period.  these days, I am now am troubled only by an occassional mild- mod migraine.  My current MD is suggesting I take the Errin mini pill, that the progesterone only method should still give me the same results..  I really am not sure what I think about it.

    But I did have a question for Caroline: how was it that while you were on a nuvaring, that you experience a start of your perioD?  Had you just removed your nuvaring?

  • Anonymous
    cbuck
    Mar. 08, 2011

    Dear Caroline,

    I have suffered from menstral migraines for many years.  For medical reasons I had an ovary removed 10 years ago.  In December I had my other ovary removed.  I am on an estrogen gel and for the past three months I have had no migraines.  It is still new but it is a welcome relief.  Good luck!!  I am sorry you are...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Dear Caroline,

    I have suffered from menstral migraines for many years.  For medical reasons I had an ovary removed 10 years ago.  In December I had my other ovary removed.  I am on an estrogen gel and for the past three months I have had no migraines.  It is still new but it is a welcome relief.  Good luck!!  I am sorry you are suffering with this. 

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    May. 10, 2010

    i, too suffer from migraines..I have had them for about 19yrs and always right before i get my period.  I'm at the ER at least once a month for IV drip of Demerol, Reglan and Imitrex injected into the IV. I've tried Treximent, Topamax, Elavil, bio-feed back therapy, Fiorinal w/codene, propanenal, and numerous other drugs. The injectable Imitrex has been...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    i, too suffer from migraines..I have had them for about 19yrs and always right before i get my period.  I'm at the ER at least once a month for IV drip of Demerol, Reglan and Imitrex injected into the IV. I've tried Treximent, Topamax, Elavil, bio-feed back therapy, Fiorinal w/codene, propanenal, and numerous other drugs. The injectable Imitrex has been giving me rebound headaches about 4-5 hrs later.  I started back with chiropractic to help with the pain.

     

    I am wondering about removing my ovaries as well. But not sure due the fact my doctor will not prescribe any estrogen products because my mom and many others in my family have died from breast cancer...

     

    any ideas?

  • Anonymous
    Diana Peraza
    Mar. 30, 2009

    hello everyone. my name is Diana and i have suffered from debilitating migraines for about eleven years. recently i was introduced to this menstrual migraine and it seems to be what i have. after so many treatments i am at my wits end. my migraines have causes me to miss out of school and work (i am 21). i am researching this ovary removal surgery and hysterectomy...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    hello everyone. my name is Diana and i have suffered from debilitating migraines for about eleven years. recently i was introduced to this menstrual migraine and it seems to be what i have. after so many treatments i am at my wits end. my migraines have causes me to miss out of school and work (i am 21). i am researching this ovary removal surgery and hysterectomy surgery as well in hopes that i will find relief. i know its extreme but honestly, the pain is so intense and is has literally taken over my life. i am desperate for relief and am completely ok with not having kids (there is no point in having kids if my migraines are too debilitating to care for them). suggestions?

    • Teri Robert
      Health Guide
      Mar. 30, 2009

      Diana,

       

      Don't do it! That type of surgery can make things better, BUT it can also make things worse, and you have no way of knowing until after you've done it.

       

      Teri

  • Anonymous
    maria
    Aug. 08, 2007
    I can't say that I've had the procedure done yet, but am opting to do it soon (I'm 35). My periods are too frequent and heavy, and my migraines are out of control. My ObGyn is willing to remove both my uterus and ovaries for relief from the bleeding,and the migraines. I am not a candidate for uterine ablation (as opposed to hysterectomy) because...
    RHMLucky777
    Read More
    I can't say that I've had the procedure done yet, but am opting to do it soon (I'm 35). My periods are too frequent and heavy, and my migraines are out of control. My ObGyn is willing to remove both my uterus and ovaries for relief from the bleeding,and the migraines. I am not a candidate for uterine ablation (as opposed to hysterectomy) because a number of factors put me in the highest risk group for endometrial cancer. I do know that my estrogen levels go way too high, and then drop too low very quickly. So right now my periods have nothing to do with ovulation. I will check back in after my surgery, but I have a feeling that each woman's reaction is going to be slightly different. I have a girlfriend who had her ovaries removed at 30, and her migraines went from every day to once a month,

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