8/20/07 #6 - Hysterectomy and removal of ovaries for Migraines?

Ask the Clinician Health Pro
  • Full Question:
    I am 45 years old and suffer with hormonal migraines since I was 16 years old. (They are terrible a week before, and during my period. And when I ovulate). I am thinking about getting a hysterectomy. I know a few people who had a hysterectomy, with removal of the ovaries, and with hormone replacement therapy-- they never got another migraine.


    I was wondering-- could it be helpful for my migraines by getting a hysterectomy- without removing of the ovaries, and so I wouldn't have to take hormones. Do you have to remove the ovaries in order for this to work? Mary.





    Dear Mary;

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    First of all, yes, some people's Migraines do decrease significantly following a hysterectomy. However, it is crucial to know that some women experience an increase in Migraine frequency and / or severity following a hysterectomy. Still others see no change at all in their Migraines. Hormone replacement therapy following a hysterectomy is tricky. It can be difficult to establish the correct therapy, and the HRT itself can be a Migraine trigger.


    For those who do see a difference after a hysterectomy, an oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries) is significant as the fluctuation in hormone production related to the ovaries can so greatly impact Migraine pattern.


    Hysterectomy and / or oophorectomy are not recommended unless necessary for other medical reasons. You wouldn't want to go through the surgery only to find out that it has made your Migraines worse.


    Good luck,
    John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert


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    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.


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Published On: August 20, 2007