Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Tuesday, March 09, 2010 LAFRMNY, Community Member, asks

Q: migraine and hysterectomy

I have heard from 4 women who have had migraines and had a hysterectomy no longer suffer from migraines.  Any information confirming this?

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Answers (21)
Teri Robert, Health Guide
3/13/10 12:21pm

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I see you've had responses from several people. My own experience was that a hysterectomy made no difference in my Migraines whatsoever.

 

Migraine specialists would tell you NOT to have a hysterectomy in hopes of reducing your Migraines because it could help, make no difference, or even make things worse.

 

I hope the feedback here has been helpful.

 

Welcome again,

Teri

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CATHARINE MARTINEZ, Community Member
3/17/10 12:33pm

so, does anyone know the connection between migraines and menapause??? i was told for  years once i was thru menapause that i could expect a reduction in my migraines. well it has been over two years and that has not happened, if anything they are worse.  i have been on HRT in hopes that it would help but so far it hasn't, has anyone else had any experience with hormone replacement, did it help???

 

thanks, cathie

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dawner, Community Member
6/24/10 8:33pm

My grandmother had no more migraines after menopause but that is not too say it would work for you,migraines are caused by other things as well.I do know that for me and several others i have spoken too can get migraines from hrt,also my doctor told me hrt does not work for migraines because you are still getting hormone fluctuation from the hrt.If you have never tried having no hormones at all after your surgery I would recommend not using them at all and see what happens.I can't tell you how long it would take for it to leave your system completely.

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kyra, Community Member
3/10/10 9:28pm

I don't have an answer for this, but I too have heard the same thing.  My doctor says there is no connection, but doesn't someone know their own body best?  Curious to hear the answers.

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pollinca, Community Member
3/11/10 9:57am

I had the same thing done and although it did not stop the migraines I suffered with PMS, it did nothing to totally take migraines away.

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ozzygirl, Community Member
3/11/10 4:59am

I had a hysterectomy and the removal of one ovary and a huge amount of endometriosis ... initially my migraines were reduced considerably as they were impacted by my cycle.  Some endometriosis was left and over time I think it has built up again and the migraines are creeping up in frequency and intensity.   I'd love to know what would happen if my other ovary was removed and my hormones settled down completely, I have a hunch that my migraines would be reduced even more.

 

 

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Hcampbell64, Community Member
3/11/10 7:26am

 I think it depends on the person. I had a hysterectomy 6 years ago and still get migraines, so that is not true for all people.

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Aprilheather, Community Member
3/11/10 7:29am

I had severe debilitating migraine for about 8 years.  I tried everything.  Literally.  I began a detailed chart of my migraines to see if I could find a pattern.  I already felt they were totally caused by the fluctuation of hormones in my body-notably estrogen-but I wanted data.  I kept this daily log for over 3 months and it became blatantly clear that my migraines arose totally from these fluctuations. Two to three weeks out of every month I was in extreme pain.  And the other two were not so great either.  I took this information to several neurologists and each told me the same thing-no guarantee that a hysterectomy will work; they wouldn't consider it.  "Its my own body!" I wanted to shout!  But it is true that for many women, migraine can become more severe after a hysterectomy.  I was otherwise very healthy, except for the nasty side effects of all the preventative meds I was taking.  SO, I went to my gynecologist.  He suggested we try to Lupron injections for 3 months to see how my body reacted before we did any kind of surgery.  Its kinda like a medicinal menopause.  (not a doctor here--layman terms) My migraines impoved drastically.  They didn't go away but they were better.  This did NOT work when I took birth control pills--I even took the kind where you have a period 4 times a year.  I just had terrible migraines--being hospitablized with DHE treatments--during those mentrual cycles.  FINALLY, my gynecologist--a brave man--consented to the hysterectomy and I can tell you that I have NOT HAD A SINGLE MIGRAINE SINCE I CAME OUT OF SURGERY.  When I was in recovery I did have a migraine, but it passed and now when I have a headache I take two ibuprofen and it goes away.  That used to be like taking 2 M & M's.  I can't tell you how liberating--I got my life back.  My daughters got their mom back--and my husband no longer worries during the day at work that I will call him from the ER or from the DHE clinic.  I basically take allergy medicine and vitamins now.  I urge you to have the converstation with your doctors and to document your migraines along with the other aspects of your cycles.  I also urge you to listen to your gut.  I feel there is instinctive knowledge about ourselves and our health that we suppress--in general.  Get into the mind body zone and listen to the cues.  I am also on HRT in the form of a patch that I change once a week--this keeps those hormones nice and steady.  I excercise regularly too--running several times a week.  (couldn't do that before!)  I wish you the best--don't lose faith.  Keep pushing through--there is a  beautiful life waiting.

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DJ, Community Member
3/11/10 1:55pm

Sounds like the gyno handled it in a good manner by firstly trying something to minic memopause or hysterectomy type hormone levels to see if it would work rather than just ruling it out and trying nothing. I've heard that Lupon is used to attempt to shrink fibroids as it's on a similar theory.

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YourAverageJole, Community Member
1/ 7/13 5:46am
I am about to talk to the OB/GYN tomorrow, recommended by my regular doctor. I asked about Lupron and she said it was not at all indicated for migraines and would not work. I started on low estrogen pills about three months ago. Headaches didn't change at all, only good thing was that my period stopped for two months. Now, I have been bleeding heavily for a month. My migraines also put me in the ER right before my cycle. I have had some relief with injections of a numbing lidocaine-like drug (starts with an "m" - the ER docs use it with Epinephrine injected into the occipital lobe and then two more injections in the maxi-facial (above the eyebrows where they do Botox) and it has helped, but that is a $100 expense each month. I am 44 and have been on disability for 10 years with Fibromyalgia, chronic migraines with auras, sleep apnea, and chronic fatigue, anemia, reflux, polycystic ovary syndrome, etc. I take a ton of vitamins and have been seen at the Diamond Headache Clinic, Seattle's Pain and Migraine clinic and three top doctors from the American Society of Headache Experts (ASHE), my file for disability and Social Security is a over six reams of paper thick. I have done the experimental trial medications until I was crying in the doctors offices begging them to let me take anything to help. Tylenol, Ibuprofin , Advil, Torodol, DHE, etc. all seemed like the "M&M's" mentioned above. Now, with the four weeks of bleeding, no headache relief from the BC estrogen pills, I am ready to give the total hysterectomy a go. My mother had irregular menses, and a few bad PAP Smears and had her Total Hysterectomy at age 45. You are a different voice than most posts who say their headaches did not change or got worse afterwards. I guess I will see what this New OB/GYN has to say to tomorrow. Reply
Teri Robert, Health Guide
1/ 7/13 10:47am

I do understand your situation. Please, though, unless you need a hysterectomy for other reasons, consider it very, very carefully. The statistics show that the majority of women who have a hysterectomy find their Migraines are worse. You may be interested in the info here - http://www.healthcentral.com/migraine/c/123/150515/hysterectomy.

 

Good luck!
Teri

 

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dawner, Community Member
6/24/10 8:37pm

I live for the day I can have my life back.It is so good to hear your story.I have been on disability and can't do anything,can't keep a job and yet no nuerologist or gyno cares.I keep trying but it is so hard to hear no over and over.

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Aprilheather, Community Member
6/25/10 6:48am

This is truly the cruelty of Migraine disease--no ONE thing will work for everyone.  Its all individual.  I knew the hysterectomy would work for me--my mom had the same thing-severe migraines that were eliminated after her hysterectomy.  It was only after many years, countless meds, dozens of doctors, notebooks of jourals and records, too many tears to count, and an abundance of prayer that led me to the answer that was right for me. I felt it with every fiber of my being.  I cannot stress that enough.  It absolutely is NOT a cure and will not work for everyone.  I hope and pray everyday that cures are found for this devastating disease.

 

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dawner, Community Member
7/ 1/10 4:23pm

I am so happy to hear when someone has had success with getting rid of their migraines no matter what it took,but it also helps me to know that hysterectomy can do it too.Everything else has failed for me,menopause and hysterectomy has worked for people in my family so I keep the hope it will work for me.I have been on disability for many years and barely function,hope keeps me alive.

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cmshanley, Community Member
11/17/10 7:15pm

I just got this same advice from a new ob/gyn this morning and was excited about getting on the Lupron until I started reading all the negative reactions people have had. I think I will still try it and then decide after three months whether to have the complete hysterectomy which she is recommending. I also suffer from uterine fibroids/severe anemia. I really do feel that eventaully the surgery will stop my menstrual migraines which are completely debilitating for two days a month (constant vomiting, cant get up, etc.) if my ovaries are removed. I am 45 and in perimenopause but dont want to wait for this to subside over the next 5-10 years. A neurologist told me years ago that my migraines will only go away when I am done with menopause so why not be done?

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cyndee, Community Member
3/11/10 9:05am

I had continual, chronic migraines for over 25 years.  They magically reduced in frequency during perimenopause and are now almost completely gone now that I am in menopause.  Unlike women who complain about menopause symptoms - I feel better than I have in 30 years.  I am loosing weight, I have plenty of energy, I am happier and pain free.  I definately think that some hormonal imbalance was the root of my health issues.  I tell all women who mention they are having migraine issues to have their hormone levels checked.

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DJ, Community Member
3/11/10 2:07pm

Mine is sudden and only 3 months into it which can make menopause symptoms more severe but I'm just noticing feeling hot at times so note to myself to wear cooler clothing and use jackets and jumpers if cold. Other than that it's OK.

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dawnmvd, Community Member
3/11/10 9:47am

NO!!!!! This is not a good idea.  I had menstrual migraines, they put me on Lupron to shut my hormones off for 6 months, which made me headache free, but suffered from severe dizziness which they call vestibular migraines.  Then they decided to give me a full hysterectomy to eliminate my migraines, or so I was told...I was headache free for a year, but still suffered with vestibular migraines.  Then, my migraines came back with a vengence, and now I only have 10 days out of each month where I am not suffering from severe, dibilatating migraines.  So for me, it did NOT help at all, as it made my migraines WORSE!

 

Dawn

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DJ, Community Member
3/11/10 2:05pm

My mother said that her migraines went completely after menopause. I'm wondering if part of why migraines reduce or go at hysterectomy is due to removal of the ovaries at the same time which does the same as menopause - reducing certain hormones but suddenly rather than gradually. Did these 4 women have their ovaries removed. However I've also heard (but never asked a medical source) that the uterus itself secretes hormones.

 

I'm 48 and having chemotherapy treatment which affects the ovaries, puts you into almost sudden menopause which is permanent for 90% of women in my age group. In younger women the ovaries can recover and they'll come out of menopause but in some they remain infertile. My periods have stopped (last one late Dec 09) and from a home menopausing testing kit my follicle hormone levels are up indicating the brain is trying to flog the ovaries to work and hence sign of perimenopause.

 

I've noticed that my migraines have greatly reduced in frequency and even more in severity. However the first month I had a few days with a migraine which was pretty awful. I'm still on inderal for now and will stay on it until I see where this all goes as it could be an accelerated rather than sudden menopause as it could be that each dose is further impacting on the ovaries. The oncologist will test at the end of treatment which will be May 2010. I'll ask if mine is accelerated or sudden. The inderal had reduced the severity and duration.

 

I was told years ago by family planning who prescribe the pill etc that my migraines were progesteron driven. However I had glandular fever in 2000 which greatly increased them so they are partially post viral.

 

Will be interesting to see where this goes.

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Susan, Community Member
3/11/10 6:44pm

When I needed a hysterectomy I was looking forward to a reduction in migraines. Unfortunately, my migraines got worse instead of better. When I expressed my disappointment to my neurologist he just shook his head. He then told me that with my chronic migraines there was only a 2% chance of them getting better! As he predicted mine actually got worse! I certainly would not recommend undergoing a hysterectomy in hopes of alleviating migraines.

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rbcool, Community Member
3/15/10 1:32am

I had migraines for a couple of days a month for years. I had a hysterectomy and removal of my ovaries for medical reasons and then I had a migraine every day for months. After several years the mirgraines settled down to about one a week. The surgery only made my migraines worse and unbearable for several years.

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SWEET PEA, Community Member
3/20/10 9:33pm

I HAVE ALSO HAD A HYSTERECTOMY ALMOST 5 YEARS AGO, AND I STILL GET MIGRAINS. IN FACT I GET THEM MORE NOW THEN I DID BEFORE.  THE HYSTERECTOMY DID NOT I REPEAT TAKE AWAY MY MIGRAINES.  I WISH IT DID.  RIGHT NOW I AM ON MY 4TH DAY OF  A MIGRAINE

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SWEET PEA, Community Member
3/20/10 9:35pm

I HAD A COMPLETE HYSTERECTOMY ALMOST 5 YEARS AGO, AND I STILL GET MIGRAINES. IT DIN'T STOP MY MIGRAINES. AS A MATTER OF FACT I GET THEM MORE OFTEN THEN BEFORE. AS OF RIGHT NOW I AM ON THE 4TH DAY OF A MIGRAINE.  I WISH IT DID STOP THEM BUT IT DIN'T WORK FOR ME.

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Jo-Anne, Community Member
4/15/10 8:27pm

I had a hysterectomy in 2003 and my migraines are worst now than what they have ever been

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dawner, Community Member
6/24/10 2:42am

I get very upset when doctors say there is no connection because so many women have had hysterectomys and have been cured from their migraines.Not everyone gets menstral migraines,but a lot do.I also get upset because the doctors should know these things.I don't understand why they ignore these results that women have had.Does it mean nothing when a woman reports to their doctor that they are cured,isn't it the responsability of a doctor to let this be known to help future awareness?I am waiting for the day when I get my hysterectomy to show it does work and do what I can to spread the word and get it known in the medical field that it can work if they are menstral migraines.

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dawner, Community Member
6/24/10 2:49am

I have heard of some having a hysterctomy but are taking hormone replacement theropy,taking hormone replacement makes hormone fluctuations which will cause a migraine.

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ryleeandhavensmom, Community Member
7/ 4/10 3:12am

Hi! First off--so sorry you are having migraines. My situation was a little unique in that I had them nonstop--back to back--one right after another for over 2 years.  Unfortunatly, there is not one single thing I did that I can say made them magically disappear (although if it had not been for prayer, I would have given up!)--I had a hysterectomy because we thought the migraines were due to hormone-craziness.  They did not disappear right away--in fact they got worse for a few months (pain intensity got worse).  Then I found a HEADACHE SPECIALIST (NOT JUST a neurologist)--long story short:  I went off some meds and on a couple of new ones and THE MIGRAINES ARE GONE--haven't had one in over 4 years.  I do believe the hysterectomy leveled out my hormones making my body respond better to the medication.  Hope this helps!! HANG IN THERE!

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Nicole, Community Member
7/29/12 8:31pm

I would love to know the names of the new meds you are talking about that they put you on..help the rest of us out who are suffering so bad :(

 

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ryleeandhavensmom, Community Member
7/ 4/10 3:22am

Hello! I heard the same thing before I decided to have a hysterectomy.  I was having migraine headaches nonstop-one-right after the other-for over 2 years.  I was truly going insane from the constant pain (prayer kept me going!).  We thought my hormones were to blame because they became so frequent when I was pregnant.  So I had the surgery --it was not a magic cure, unfortunately.  My headaches got even worse after the hysterectomy (pain intensified) for a couple of months.  Then I found a headache specialist (more than just a neurologist)--long story short, I went on some meds and off others THEN they finally went away---I haven't had one in over 4 years.  I believe the hysterectomy leveled out my hormones so that the meds could do their job.  **NOTE You may want to ask your doc if a different procedure might do the same thing--I think it is called "carterizing (sp?) the uterus??--it has a much easier recovery.  Wish I had done that instead. GOOD LUCK and hang in there!

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valerie wright, Community Member
1/ 9/11 1:29pm

I would like to know the same thing.My doctor says that not enough studies have been done.

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Teri Robert, Health Guide
1/ 9/11 4:08pm

Valerie,


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Studies on this would be quite difficult. The only logical way to do it would be a retrospective study. That kind of study would look back at other studies to find data about Migraines and hysterectomy, and I doubt that there's much data about it in previous studies.

 

We do have a great deal of anecdotal evidence, but it, unfortunately, only confirms that we're all very different. Some women find that their Migraines decrease after hysterectomies, but just as many women report that it made them worse or made no difference at all. I talk and work with many Migriane specialists, and all of them with whom I've discussed this issue say NOT to have a hysterectomy in hopes of reducing Migraines - to have a hysterectomy only if necessary for other issues.

 

Teri

 

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valerie wright, Community Member
1/ 9/11 9:17pm

I am soooo desperate to be rid of these Migraines that I am willing to try anything.The thing is though that if I did get a hysterectomy and they got worse,I cant reverse it.My doctor gave me a birth control shot but that doesnt help either.Do you have information on the Lupron that some of the other women are talking about?

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pixiefairydust, Community Member
1/21/11 1:22pm

I had a total Hysterectomy, where everything is gone inside(tubes, uterus,and had my cervis removed-Feb.2007). I started getting Bad Migraines in 2008 and have them today. But, before Feb.2007, I would have mild Headaches. They

seem like there getting worse and more frequent.(Since last Spring till now) Last winter(2010) I hardly had a Migraine at all, till March 2010. I guess everyone is different.

 

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muumma cat, Community Member
2/ 4/11 9:07pm

hi, i had a hysterctomy in november 2010 last year,for realy heavy periods & horrible migraines at least 4 or 5 each month it was taking over my life where i could not function properly 2 weeks out of every month i was really sick tried a lot of different medications but they made me feel very nauseas so i still had to go & lie on the bed,so not much help at all,3 months since my hysterectomy i havent had a migraine its been great, can live again it wasnt any easy recovery but was worth all that pain as it was my last option.

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SCDC, Community Member
4/19/11 5:55pm

I am so glad to know that I am not the only one with constant migraines brought on by hormonal fluctiations. THANK YOU ALL FOR POSTING! I only wish my primary care doctor (pcp), neurologist and gynocologist knew what to do with me. My migraines start 4 days prior to my period, then last another 14 days. With my periods starting 25 days from start to start, that gives me only 7 days a month of relief. To make matters worse my neuro and pcp want to get me off of the only medication which is working that allows me to function/work (without going on disability) - and have offered no other to replace it. I am trying to come up with some possitive words other than "you're fired" for my pcp appointment this Friday.

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MLB, Community Member
10/10/11 6:10pm

I can assure you, without reservation, that there was a direct link between my hysterectomy and the ceasing of my headaches. I had headaches on an average of 6 times a month from the age of 12 until age 50. Nausea with vomiting was a routine occurrence. If I had any idea that I would live migraine free I would have had the hysterectomy after my last pregnancy. My sister, who is 4 years younger , also had a hysterectomy and her migraines stopped!!!!! I am so glad I have the opportunity to share this information... IT NEEDS TO BE STUDIED!!!!! These past 8 years have been my healthiest...........

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By LAFRMNY, Community Member— Last Modified: 10/16/13, First Published: 03/09/10