Is It Normal To Have A Headache While On Your Period?

You do fight period headaches often? Do you experience them before, during or after your period? What symptoms do you experience and are they more like migraines than real headaches? These are all questions for which you need answers.

Headache While On Your Period


Table of Contents

Symptoms of Period Headaches

There are various menstrual cycle stages responsible for various signs of headaches and will usually respond in a different mane to a possible treatment or ways of reliving the signs. Lots of women experience nausea and fever along with these headaches.

Migraines are rather distinct than regular headaches. They normally lead to high throbbing pain levels and generally happen on of the head`s sides. Migraines are usually split in 2 different categories:

  • With aura.
  • Without aura.

If you experience a migraine with aura, you might have one or several of the below signs in the last half an hour before the migraine:

  • Unusual changes in touch, smell or taste.
  • Confusion.
  • Numbness in the face or hands.
  • Tingling sensations in the face or hands.
  • Difficulty thinking.
  • Viewing unusual lines.
  • Viewing light flashes.

The signs of a migraine with aura might include:

  • Viewing spots.
  • Light sensitivity.
  • Sound sensitivity.
  • Nausea.
  • Viewing light flashes.
  • Pain behind your eye or ear.
  • Vomiting.
  • Temporary vision loss.

Regular headaches aren`t usually preceded by any aura and are normally a lot less painful. There`re a few distinct types of headaches.

  • Cluster headaches are frequently confused with migraines. They normally lead to pain on one of the head`s sides and might include signs like runny nose, nasal congestion or watery eye.
  • High anxiety and stress levels may lead to tension headache. They might be the result of muscle strain or tension as well.
  • Sinus headaches frequently include signs such as serious pain, facial pressure and nasal congestion. Sometimes, they appear associated with sinus infection.

Causes of Headaches during Period

The most important causes of headaches are vascular constriction due to high estrogen levels. They decrease when there`s less estrogen than progesterone.

Over 65% of women have headaches due to the menstrual cycle. Obviously, there`s lots of tension during menstruation. This is also why certain women who take oral contraceptives with high levels of estrogen have more headaches than women who don`t.

A less known cause of headache is represented by malfunctioning platelets which are associated with a reduction in the number of endorphins that are released into the woman`s brain as well as low levels of magnesium.

All this may lead to moodiness, headaches and depression. Certain women also experience an abnormal nervous system response to these particular changes and, therefore, feel a lot more pain than other women, whether it be back pain, abdominal pain or headaches.

Headaches & Hormones: What Is the Relation?

There`re lots of factors contributing to a headache for women or men, which include age or family history. However, women frequently notice some kind of a relation between hormonal changes and headaches.

Estrogen and progesterone are 2 key hormones that play an essential role in regulating pregnancy and menstrual cycle and might affect chemical substances in the brain related to headaches as well.

Although steady levels of estrogen might improve headaches, estrogen levels which drip or change drastically can make a headache worse.

Though fluctuating the levels of hormones might affect the patterns of a headache, you aren`t totally and the mercy of hormones. A physician can offer advice on how to prevent and treat headaches related to hormones.

The estrogen drop right before a period might contribute to your headache. Lots of women who experience migraines report headaches just before or during their period.

Your menstrual-related headaches can be treated in a few different ways. There are many proven migraine treatments that are quite efficient when it comes to treating period headaches as well. Some these treatments include:

  • Relaxation exercises.
  • Taking triptans.
  • Applying ice.
  • Biofeedback.
  • Taking pain relievers.
  • Acupuncture.
  • Taking OTC pain relievers.
  • Taking other prescribed pain drugs.

Hormonal Contraception Use

Methods that involve hormonal contraception, like vaginal rings, birth control pills or patches, might change the existing patterns of a headache – sometimes for the worse or for the better, while sometimes there`s no change whatsoever.

For some women, hormonal contraception might aid decrease the severity and frequency of period headaches. This generally works by minimizing that particular drop in the estrogen hormone that is associated with the woman`s menstrual cycle.

Using hormonal contraception in order to prevent headaches related to menstruation might be appropriate for those particular women who have not been aided by other techniques. – Find out more!

Other ones might first have headaches while making use of hormonal contraception. If, by any chance, you have headaches while using hormonal contraception, visit the doctor`s office. He may help you to:

  • Take a birth control pill based only on progestin (e.g. Micronor) as an alternative to birth control pills based on progestin and estrogen, if you cannot take oral contraceptives based on progestin and estrogen because of other medical conditions.
  • Use a monthly oral contraceptive pack with less inactive days (placebo).
  • Use a skin patch based on estrogen during those placebo days if you are using a contraceptive patch.
  • Get rid of the placebo days entirely from most of the months by simply taking birth control pills based on progestin and estrogen for a longer period of time.
  • Take triptans and NSAIDs during those placebo days.
  • Use oral contraceptives with a smaller estrogen dose in order to the estrogen drop during those placebo days.

Also read: What Makes Burning During And After Intercourse?

How to Prevent Headache during Period?

Some methods of contraception, such as vaginal rings, birth control pills and patches, might help lower the occurrences of period headaches, or at least make them less painful. However, they don`t usually work for anyone. In certain situations, they might worsen your headaches.

The doctor may tell you to remain on contraception for 3 months to half a year, but without taking the placebo pills. This will stop your period and might stop the headaches as well.

Just before your menstruation, the estrogen and progesterone amount from your body decreases. This sudden change might lead to throbbing headaches.

There are certain oral contraceptive types that play an essential role as well. About 3 weeks out of each month, they maintain your hormones on a steady level. The levels of estrogen as well as your head start to pounds when taking the placebo links or when you don`t any pills at all, like when you are at your period.

If you are prone to period headaches, taking oral contraceptives which contain small estrogen amounts or just the progesterone hormone might definitely help.

Hormone replacement therapy can set off period headaches as well. This is a type of medicine a woman takes while on menopause to have control over their hormones.

5 Methods to Relieve Headaches the Natural Way


It`s recommended to give yourself a lifestyle reset and get rid of alcohol, sugar intake and gluten for your diet. You should also avoid consume tyramine, as it`s a migraine-triggering compounds that is found in fermented and aged foods such as cured meats, old cheeses and smoked fish.

Follow these particular changed for about 1 month and you`ll surely see an improvement in any hormonal-related signs of headaches.


You should aim to consume around 3 liters of water on a daily basis in order to avoid dehydration and prevent hormonal headaches.


As soon as you better understand the profile of your hormones, you can make use of supplements to help your body with nutritional deficiencies, as these may have some sort of a contribution to your headaches. CoQ10, 5-HTP and magnesium are all recommended exactly for these particular purposes.


Keep in mind that stress can influence the balance of your hormones directly. Look for methods to cope with premenstrual symptoms and mood changes, as well as ways to get rid of stress during those hard periods of time during your menstrual cycle.

Physical exercise, yoga or meditation are all great methods of make yourself calm and keep you centered, which might relieve headaches.

Talk to a Doctor

Have a doctor take a look at your progesterone and estrogen balance, but also at your thyroid levels. Based on these tests` results, he can then make a decision on what options of treatment might be more suitable for you.

If you experience from serious period headaches, add some progesterone cream to your skin, but talk to a physician first.

Overall Conclusion

Identifying what are your triggers and then experimenting various treatments can aid manage or even reduce your headaches. If over-the-counter medications are not suitable for your necessities, call your doctor. He might be able to advise you on other treatments or prescribe a more powerful drug to aid relieve your signs.

Image courtesy of 34-menopause-symptoms.com

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