Menstrual migraines - I'm new to this

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/21/2006 6:40 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm a 46-year-old woman. Starting a few months ago, I began getting headaches around the time of my period. It felt like sinus headaches. I went to my allergist, thinking I had a sinus infection. There WAS a slight infection, but that was not causing my headaches. Turns out, I have been having migraines. I didn't realize they were migraines, because there was no aura. When I think about it, I think I've been having them for years, mistaking them for sinus headaches.
Here's what they feel like: pressure around my eyes, slight blurred vision, sensitivity to light and sound, slight dizziness, difficulty concentrating, feelings of impatience/easily annoyed, ringing in my ears.
I'm not sure what to do. The allergist gave me samples of Imitrex. I took one the last time a supposed migraine hit. It took 2 hours for my headache to go away, but the side effects of the medication were awful: it made me really nauseated and dizzy, plus my arm got numb. It was worse than having a plain headache! I also think that the Imitrex made the ringing in my ears worse. The "volume" of the slight ringing that is always in my ears seems to have gotten "turned up a notch" since taking the Imitrex twice last month.
I saw a highly recommended neurologist who specializes in migraine headaches. He examined me and then gave me samples of Frova. But after reading all the nasty side effects of THAT drug, I am hesitant to take it.
I am thinking now of speaking to my OB/GYN and getting my birth control pill changed. Possibly a better combination of hormones (or different dosage) will help prevent this from happening.
In the mean time, if I feel a migraine coming on, I try to have a large dose of caffeine (tea, coffee, or cola) and some ibuprofen. That usually helps. But it doesn't prevent the headache from coming back the next day. Usually these darn headaches seem to last 2 or 3 days in a row.
I really don't want to start taking a lot of powerful medications for something that only seems to affect me at "that time of month." I would love to hear from other women who have been in my situation. Also, please tell me that this crap will go away after menopause! I read that somewhere, and I hope it's true.
BTW, I am on the birth control pill because I was getting ovarian cysts and I had horrible acne, plus awful PMS and very heavy periods. The pill made all that go away. I am hypothyroid and am on Synthroid, but that is all very controlled, so the only other way to alleviate the problem was to go on a birth control pill. It was working great for about a year until these stupid headaches started.
I appreciate your comments and suggestions.

Post Edited (GloriaG) : 10/21/2006 5:53:11 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 310
   Posted 10/21/2006 7:33 PM (GMT -6)   
   :-)   Hi I am 43, and also have migraines, espcially when it's close for me to start my period.  Usually I will have a bad migraine a week before I start the after I start I will have 3-4 during my cycle.   I went to my obgyn this week, due to having some heavy bleeding, She suggested I try taking a low dose of estrogen I'm very hestiatant and I don't know if I will or not.  I'm also having a dnc and ablation procedure on Nov6th  the doctor seems to think my migraines will slow down then.  I have had migraines for several years, but the older I get the more frequent they become
sad so I know how you feel.  Have you tried any of the other anti seizure meds like topamax?  I have been on topamax but have recently weened myself off of it.  I don't want to take anymore drugs then I can possibly get by with.  I hope you get some relief soon, email me if you want  take care
       Mercyme smurf

Post Edited By Moderator (Annuk) : 10/22/2006 5:43:59 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 902
   Posted 10/21/2006 7:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Gloria, I can relate completely. I get migraines almost daily but the most STUBBORN ones are the ones before and during my period. As if we don't have enough to deal with PMS. Anyway, wanted to let you know that caffeine is a MAJOR TRIGGER of migraine. It's true that it helps the migraine by relaxing the blood vessels, however, it causes REBOUND. Also, a lot of people mistake sinus for migraine. I was almost operated on because I was desparate for my migraines (which I thought were sinus) to go away. The neurologist should give you a list of common triggers or you could go to the following websites to learn more:

The National Headache Foundation

Feel better!
DX: chronic migraine, cervical degeneration, depression/anxiety 
RX: Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Soma, Immitrex 
"You don't find out that God is all you've got until God is all you've got."

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 10/23/2006 3:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I am 46 years old and have had migraines since age 27 or so.  I had control over them with chiropractic, but the last six months or so I've had an increase and always right before my period or at time of ovulation.  Guess it must be our changing hormones.  I am reluctant to try estrogen as well.  Maybe the pill is not helping either.  I used to be on the pill years ago and when I started getting migraines, my OB GYN took me off them completely.
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