Migraine Headaches: Why Women Suffer Most


If you’ve ever had a migraine headache, you know how debilitating they can be. Migraines are far more disruptive than the common “tension headache.” Unfortunately, it is the female population who suffer most. In fact, three times as many women as men suffer from migraines in adulthood

The Migraine Research Foundation confirms the prevalence of this illness in women by reporting that “roughly 1 in 4 women will experience migraine in their lives. As much as 85% of chronic migraine sufferers are women. About half of female sufferers have more than one attack each month, and a quarter experience 4 or more severe attacks per month.”

These attacks can include long, episodic pain that is made worse by light and other triggers. Many women experience nausea and must lay down in a dark room until the migraine dissipates. This can cause them to miss work and greatly impede their quality of life.

The Hormone Connection

Among many other challenges and complaints for females, hormones are believed to be the culprit when it comes to migraines in women. Hormonal changes and surges are the most common triggers of migraines in women. This is why many women begin their battle with migraines when they start their menstrual cycle in adolescence.

Unfortunately, hormones tend to surge quite a bit in women. Fluctuations in estrogen can occur before, during and after menstrual periods, pregnancy and menopause. Hormonal oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy can also impact your delicate hormone balance and trigger migraines.

Other Migraine Triggers

Beyond the undoubted hormone connection to migraine attacks in women, we also know that genetics can play a strong role. If you have a mother or grandmother who suffered migraines, you have a much greater chance of also battling this illness. Some women can identify specific trigger for their migraines, despite their “time of the month.” These include common migraine culprits for both men and women:

If you are suffering from migraines and suspect that your intense headaches are associated with your hormones, we can help you find relief. Call North Pointe OB/GYN in Cumming today.

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