A woman’s life is dictated, to a surprising degree, by her reproductive hormones, namely estrogen and progesterone. From the moment you pass through puberty, these hormones rise and fall during your reproductive years before they fall, once and for all, after menopause. During this roller coaster ride, you can be left struggling with a wide range of quality-of-life issues from mood swings to frequent head pain.
In the following, we explore the connection between hormones and headaches and how we can help.
Perhaps you develop a headache just before your period, or you’re struggling with migraines after giving birth. It’s no coincidence that these times coincide with low estrogen levels.
Your estrogen hormones are primarily responsible for ovulation, but they cast a much wider net than simply overseeing the release of your eggs. Estrogen also affects tissue health, your hair, your blood vessels, and your brain, to name a few. This last area is the one that may be causing your head pain — estrogen influences how your brain registers pain.
As a result, women experience headaches in much larger numbers than men. For example, of the nearly 30 million people in the United States who experience frequent migraines, about 75% are women.
While researchers still aren’t sure of the exact cause-and-effect mechanism between the reproductive hormones in women and headaches, the numbers are overwhelming when it comes to the increased frequency of migraine and severe headache in women versus men, so we’re sure that a connection exists.
If you’re experiencing hormone-related headaches, we’ve had great success using Botox® to reduce the frequency of headaches. On average, Botox can prevent 8-9 headache days per month.
We can also prescribe medications that help with head pain when it strikes. In addition to these treatments, you may want to try alternative treatments, such as acupuncture and massage therapy.
There are also steps that you can take on your own to minimize your headaches, such as:
Between your steps at home to prevent headaches and our treatments here, our goal is to help you avoid hormone-related head pain.
For more information on hormone headaches and your treatment options, please make an appointment with one of our pain management experts at a location near you. We have offices in St. Matthews, Elizabethtown, Lexington, Crestview Hills, Owensboro, and London, Kentucky. Indiana offices are in Evansville, Vincennes, New Albany, Carrollton, and Jasper. We also serve patients in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio.