Is it Common to Get Migraines Before Your Period?

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Is it Common to Get Migraines Before Your Period?

I get migraines a few days before my period starts. Is it common to have migraines as part of PMS?
- Alaire*

Yes. Lots of women who have migraines get them as part of their PMS symptoms. Doctors believe that changing hormone levels are to blame for this type of headache, which is known as a menstrual migraine.

Take some steps to try to stop these headaches so you feel better. You could start by taking an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen to see if that works. If you often get headaches a few days before your period, try taking the medication for a few days around that time, even if your headaches haven't started yet. Doing this might help you avoid getting a headache. If a headache does come on, sometimes a cool cloth or ice pack wrapped in a towel can help.

If these things don't work for you, or if your headaches are severe enough that you miss school or other activities, talk to your doctor. He or she may recommend a prescription medication or refer you to a headache expert.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: August 2013

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

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