What makes a woman prone to menstrual migraines? Does she have a hormonal imbalance?
No. There is no difference in absolute estrogen levels between women who have migraines and women who don’t. It’s the fluctuation in estrogen that acts as a trigger in susceptible women. Part of this may be genetic – if a family member suffers migraines, your chance of having them is increased four-fold. Other causes of hormonal migraines. Aside from our menstrual cycles, there are other hormonal events that can cause migraines. • Estrogen levels can vary tremendously during peri-menopause (the years before women stop menstruating) and some women develop their worst migraines at this time. • If a woman ingests hormones, either by means of birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, when she stops — as she does on her week off with the pill or on certain types of hormonal replacement therapy — she may develop a migraine. This type of headache also can occur post-partum, when the high levels of pregnancy hormones plummet after the birth of the baby and the expulsion of the plac