Women & Migraines

If it seems like more women than men get migraines, it’s not in your head.

Approximately 3 out of 4 migraine sufferers are women.1

Stress as a culprit for migraines in women

Although stress, a key migraine trigger, is a fact of life for both men and women, women are more likely to be juggling work, family, and social responsibilities during the migraine-prone ages of 20 to 45.1 These also happen to be women’s peak reproductive years.

Hormones as a factor in migraines and women

In fact, more than half of all migraines experienced by women happen around the time of their periods.1 However, few women experience migraines only at "that time of month."1

While the exact connection between menstruation and migraine remains unclear, here’s what we do know:

  • Levels of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone fall steeply just before a woman gets her period
  • This drop may trigger a migraine due to the role estrogen plays in the brain chemicals that regulate pain1

Fortunately, for most women, a combination of  lifestyle changes and migraine treatments can help aid migraine relief for women.

Show References

Hide References

1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Migraine Fact Sheet. Available at: Last accessed July 2011.



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