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Menstrual Migraines

I know. Not quite the co-ed subject but I am finally getting a grip on my MAV with the help of months of trial and error. Currently on Topamax, Prozac, and Buspar. One thing that still is unnerving is that relative that comes to visit every month. Ladies, you know who I’m talking about…
OK. So who has the remedy? My doctor has talked to me about Amerge & Imitrex. My Ob/Gyn suggested Mirena IUC. Others suggested Seasonale. What do my fellow MAVer’s think?

Hi Joe dizzy,
with Amerg
it depends what type of migraine you were diagnosed with?
as to what treatment is safe or not.
I was told with complicated migraines or Atypical migraines this type of medications are dangerous as they restrict blood vessels, and can make stroke a higher risk.
and we migraineurs are at an allready higher risk than normal people.
so if you have suspected hemiplegic or basilar migraine , meds like Amerg are out.

As for contreseption…
after talking with my gyno, she said
marena’s are good in the sense that some women stop their cycle all together, after a while of useing it.
You’d think that would stop alot of the ups and downs of the hormone rollercoaster hey?
The hormone still go’s to the brain but no where near as much as with the pill.

The IUD is also another idea for migraineurs! but then again, its a matter of possible break through bleeding and lengthend more painfull periods, as a result. these are all maybe’s and once again, every ones different.

when Your a migraineure anythings better than the pill.

even condoms. :shock:

jen 8)


I know that I am a guy, and can’t give you advice on the monthly visitor thing. I can say to stay away from Imitrex as it can cause rebound migraines. It is advised against by a couple of the leading migraine doctors, who actually reference some of their patience to this sight.

I was diagnosed with MAV in March of this year after undergoing many months of tests, MRIs, vestibular therapies, you name it. They first thought it was Disembarquement. I pretty much have my migraines under control except during THAT WEEK. I am a little afraid of Mirena. Just all the bad hype of IUDs from the past I guess. I was thinking Seasonale but I am waiting for more comments.

my friends and gyn Dr :. suggested for my woman’s only problem hormones but Dr. Buscholz says stay away. :? i just want to take care of whats going in with me without adding to my problems. i will still be taking the iron pills and hope that will keep my levels up .

y, KS: What can I do to prevent hormonal type migraine headaches that occur once a month?

Dr. David Buchholz: Women carry the extra burden of cyclical estrogen throughout much of their lives. The drop in estrogen shortly before your period is a potent trigger for many women. That doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to suffer from headaches at those times. First, avoid birth control pills and other forms of hormonal manipulation. Ironically, sometimes birth control pills are prescribed to flatten out hormonal swings in an effort to avoid headaches, but this usually backfires. Even if birth control pills reduce the menstrual headache spike, they are likely to contribute to a more general rise in headaches. Otherwise, what you can do is to reduce your exposure to certain avoidable headache triggers, especially when the hormonal influence is in effect; that is, by avoiding the dietary items listed in Heal Your Headache, you can reduce your total trigger load enough so that even when the hormonal factor is added to it each month, you won’t cross your threshold. If that alone doesn’t work, you can always raise your threshold by taking a preventive medication, and some women do so only around their period and not the rest of the month. Menstrual headaches that are severe for only a day or two each month may be a situation where a drug such as Immitrex is reasonable on an as-needed basis, because its usage, only one or two days a month, won’t lead to rebound. But be careful, because that’s a slippery slope.

The Mirena IUD has no hormones, that is why my OB suggested that I use it. It is supposed to lessen my periods thus lessen (hopefully) the amount of days that I have my migraines. I used to have daily migraines with vertigo and aura. Now I am back to work part-time 3 days a week for 4 hours a day with an occasional bad day that doesn’t last all day but hours. But when that week comes around, WATCH OUT. Someone is knocking on my head again. Any other ladies have more advice for me?

Hi Jo.
here’s some information on the mirena, so there’s no confusion,
any hormones ect… are directly placed onto the cervix and surounding tissue … as apposed to into the blood stream …like the PILL… so its a much better option than the PILL…


What is Mirena®?
The Mirena® IUD/IUCD (intrauterine contraceptive device), also known as an intrauterine
system, is a small plastic device that is fitted into the uterus within a couple
of minutes by a trained doctor and can stay in place for up to five years. It differs
from other IUDs as it gradually releases the hormone levonorgestrel, a
progesterone-like hormone, into the uterus to prevent pregnancy.
How does it work?

Mirena® prevents sperm from fertilising an egg and/or prevents an egg from
implanting in the uterus. In some women it may also prevent ovulation.
Mirena® may be suitable for women approaching menopause as it can be used as
the progestogen component of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), whilst also
protecting against pregnancy.
Will it work immediately?
Mirena® is effective immediately and should be inserted between the first to the
seventh day of your cycle, where day one is the first day of your period. It can also
be inserted immediately after a termination of pregnancy. If inserted as part of HRT
it is inserted during a period or at any time if there are no periods.
If you are using other methods of contraception and are changing to Mirena®, you
will need to discuss with your doctor when is the best time for the device to be
inserted to avoid unplanned pregnancy.
How long will it last?

Mirena® is a good method for women who want a long term, convenient
contraceptive, as it lasts up to five years (although it can be removed at any time).
It is very important to have it removed and/or replaced after this time. You should
keep a record of the date that replacement is due and arrange for replacement no
later than this date. It is also important to use an alternative method of
contraception in the week leading up to the removal of the device as sex during this
week could result in unplanned pregnancy after the device is removed.
Your doctor will give you a card which records the date that your Mirena® must be
removed/replaced. Ultimately it is your responsibility to make an appointment to
visit your doctor.

How effective is it?
Mirena® is 99.9% effective – that is, if 1000 women used it for a year, one of them
might become pregnant. Although this is a lower risk than for conventional IUDs
and for the contraceptive pill, no contraceptive is 100% effective.
What are the side effects?
The most common side effect of Mirena® is irregular spotting in between periods or
unpredictable bleeding, may occur in the first few months after insertion, but almost
always settles down in most women. In general, women experience a reduction in
menstrual blood flow and in the number of bleeding days and less painful periods.
This should not be a concern, in fact it is particularly beneficial for women who
normally have heavy or long lasting periods and for women who get heavy or long
periods when they use a copper IUD (Multiload®).
Other symptoms are rare, but may include vaginal dryness, acne, nausea, breast
soreness, headaches and mood changes. In most cases these usually settle down
after the first three to five months.
Another side effect is abdominal pain (similar to period cramps) just following the
insertion. This can be relieved by resting, placing a hot water bottle on the area
and/or by taking mild painkillers.
If you are at all concerned about any symptoms, contact your Marie Stopes
International centre on Freecall 1800 003 707 or your doctor.
Who should not use Mirena®?
Before starting Mirena®, you need to inform your doctor if you:
• Might be pregnant
• Have a history of any unusual vaginal bleeding (including irregular bleeding,
spotting or no bleeding at all)
• Have an existing infection in the reproductive system or a history of recurrent
pelvic infection
• Have had breast cancer or another form of cancer
• Have had an ectopic pregnancy
• Have had a previous infection of the uterus or the tubes
• Have uterine or cervix abnormalities
• Have had a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the past 12 months or are a
high risk of contracting an STI.
• Have had previous problems using an IUD

Mirena® may not be suitable for women who have never had a pregnancy,
particularly younger women. Your Marie Stopes International doctor will talk with
you about Mirena® and help you decide whether it is the best contraceptive method
for you.
What if I want to stop using Mirena®? Is it reversible?
Mirena® is easily reversible and there is no delay in the return to your usual level of
fertility. Therefore, it is important that you start using another form of contraception
immediately following the removal of the device if you do not wish to become

:smiley: Fantastic! Sign me up! Thanks for all the info!

Dr. Hain suggests loading up on ibuprofen before menses.


Sorry for the late response–I’m not an expert on what medicines to take but I know for a fact that if you’re taking Prozac you SHOULD NOT take Imitrex–there is a risk of serotonin syndrome.

I have suffered from menstrual migraines for several years. I am currently 46 years old. I was diagnosed with Menieres about 10 years ago, and have recently thought there was a correlation between my Menieres symptoms and migraines. I just found this site tonight, and think I might be on to something here.

But, the reason for this post is to ask if any of you “monthly sufferers” have tried flax seed oil. I started taking it about two years ago as a treatment for dry eyes following lasik surgery. My eye doctor recommended it. While I was researching it, I read where it was helpful for “hormonal imbalances”. After taking the flax seed oil twice daily, I noticed a substantial decrease in my monthly migraines. I didn’t notice the improvement until about the 2nd month, but now I rarely have a menstrual headache. If I do, it is mild, and can usually be fought off with OTC remedies. A BIG improvement! I know the flax seed oil is what is helping, because there have been times when I have been lazy about taking it regularly, and boy do I suffer!

By the way, the flax seed oil helped my dry eyes, too. I highly recommend it! I have had two noticeable benefits, not to mention that it is good for my heart. :slight_smile:

Hi OkieLady,

Thank you very much for the information! I will give the flax seed oil a try. There is definitely a link between my hormones and my symptoms.

Welcome to the board!


Saw this and thought it might be relevant:

OMG. That is horrendous. We must be on track for ‘Designer Babies’ and babies being born to sixty year olds by about 2025 at this rate. Have they looked at the long term consequences of such an interference with Mother Nature. Reminds me of the experimentation carried out in WWII camps. Mengele wasn’t it. It will be using anxious young women as guinea pigs.

I must admit to wondering how they equate such action with the fact it has now been discovered HRT, Hormone Replacement Therapy, continued more than five years post menopause is positively dangerous as it causes cancer. Surely it’s the same thing with a transplant, which becomes an implant, instead of pills.

The human body is such a highly integrated complex system, much of which medics have yet to understand (Er, MAV?). What damage could this do. They quote it able to stop osteoporosis. It is perfectly natural for older women’s bones to lose bone density. Once they are past child bearing they no longer need such strong bones to carry developing foetus around therefore the body reduces the bone density and uses its saved expenditure elsewhere or so I’ve read. If this is the case the suggested implant could be upsetting one half of some other important equation somewhere else. Hope they’ve thought this through. Helen


Hi ladies, I wanted to reopen this discussion in hopes anyone could share their experience with the Mirena. I’ve got one - and it’s overdue to come out. I can’t even remember when I got it, but seeing my youngest turns 7 next month, it must be over it’s 5 year life. I do wonder whether this is the cause of this whole thing as I’ve always had mentrual migraines - but if it needs replacing, perhaps messing with me. I’ve booked an appointment for a script for a new one.

Has anyone here ever got it replaced and was it terrible in terms of symptoms?

Maybe you found a cause. There’s bound to be one otherwise why the changes you are experiencing I’d say. Have you checked out the archive? I found 19 referenced threads. Certainly worth a long and thorough read although like everything else MAV related I suspect you will find more or less equal opinions in strong favour and strongly against. Like whether HRT will control MAV or even which drugs are ‘best’ such individual variations. It all comes down to trial and error. Fluctuating Hormones are certainly a driving factor I have always thought. I am no scientist but I suspect oestrogen levels dropping did for me. I don’t understand the mechanisms behind the Mirena but guess once female of species takes one small step in direction of peri/menopause hormone fluctuation thereafter is guaranteed for many years to come. And as MAVers are hypersensitive to so many other stimulates why not that one as well.

Just found this which I copy as you appeared to have had trouble with my last link. Might be worth you PMing @sputnik2? And might I suggest you read @nin PD too.

‘The Mirena coil in combination with estrogen patches was suggested to me when I had chronic migraine in my late mid forties .Although not recommended if you have high blood pressure’

I would suggest you keep bashing on to find a treatable cause. IMO that’s your very best chance of a quicker grasp on it all.

@Belindy all of my MAV started right after I got my mirena but it was also right after I stopped breastfeeding. I can definitely tie in hormones but not sure if it has helped or hurt. I still have mine and it’s about 3 years old I do wonder would this all go away if I took it out or would I absolutely be non functioning! Did you get yours replaced?

Hi Anna, yes I did get mine replaced in December.

At the time of writing, I was in the depths of hell trying to figure out what went wrong. I had a list of potential triggers I was investigating, an overdue mirena one of them.

Everything was fine in the end with the mirena. I have slowly improved since December but I think this has got to do with meds, and time.

It was the BPPV attack that triggered my MAV for sure.

Now, I still get monthly headaches, but they are erring on the side of dizzy now. Which isn’t great!

I thought mine was forsure bppv but I had double vng/eng testing with the ent and it was negative. Distinguishing the two seems horribly difficult!