Women & Migraines
If it seems like more women than men get migraines, it’s not in your head.
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
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
1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Migraine Fact Sheet. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/migraine.cfm. Last accessed July 2011.