To all the ladies out there

Did your MAV start as you reached perimenopause or menopause itself? I’ve had migraines all my life but as soon as I hit 46 last October I got slammed with dizziness, tinnitus and horrible anxiety that seemed to coincide with my migraines. Thankfully the dizziness seems controlled now but the anxiety not so much. I’m trying everything from yoga, meditation and massage therapy to combat it but it’s still daily. Doctor prescribed .5mg of Klonopin twice daily but the stuff makes me SO sleepy! I only take 1/2 of the .5 at bedtime. Otherwise I’m on 20mg of nori as migraine preventative. I was on Cymbalta but stopped it due to the side effecst.

Anyway, back to my original question. Did any of you experience this big of a change in your migraine symptoms as you reached the perimenopause/menopause state?


I’d have to say yes - i’ve gotten much worse in the past ten years. Peri probably started about ten years ago now i’m 3 years post menopausal and I started on bioidentical hormones several months ago. I was hoping it would help alot more than it has. My theory is that if things get worse like allergies then taking someting to raise levels would help but not sure it did. I may get off of them in a while. I take bits of valium and that calms me down some but hate to take too much. I have a lot of anxiety too and i think some is hormones but most of it is this condition and wondering if i can get to work, can make it through the day, can function well enough, etc.

that’s great your dizziness is under control. One of my doctors seems to think SSRIs help with anxiety and i’m sure they do but haven’t gotten brave enough to start another one. I tried one for a very short while and hated side effects and got scared. I was thinking liquid prozac maybe.

Hope you feel better soon. that’s too bad about the cymbalta.


YES, it all hit me at the same time. An early menopause , and mad bad dizziness , all sudden and all together.
It was a fun year !!!

I’m not pre-menopausal yet (39 years old) when this all hit me, but interestingly, I was two months postpartum and my estrogen levels were very low, in the pre-menopausal levels so the endocrinologist gave me supplemental estradiol. I’m sure it was the hormonal push that put me over the edge and started this whole thing. I think my levels are normal, but I’ll get them re-checked at my annual exam next week.

I’m the same age as Anne, so not menopausal yet, but coicidentally (or perhaps not) my MAV started after I went on the contraceptive pill due to period problems. It sorted them out wonderfully, but my ‘normal’ migraines went a bit mental, and then a few months later my balance problems started. I stopped taking the pill, although now with hindsight I do wonder if there was any point, as I don’t know for sure it was really what started my MAV (there were other things too that I think might have set it off initially, like I took a long haul flight with an ear infection). Although I’m doing pretty well now overall, I still get problems with my vertigo etc getting worse for the couple of days before my period each month, so clearly there is a hormonal component to my MAV. And those days are almost a dead cert for having a headache migraine too at some point.

Absolutely! I was diagnosed with “complete ovarian failure” in 2004 when I was 44. Nevertheless, my periods came on and off over the next few years, finally stopping in 2009. My migraines were pretty hideous from teenage years, but only about 2 or 3 a year. My dizzy episode…later diagnosed as MAV…hit me in August 2007. I was off work iniially for 8 weeks but gradually returned to full-time work and have not had any time off since. Was originally assumed to be suffering with stress related to eldest child going to university. Piffle. Then I was referred for counselling, saw ENT twice, had an MRI, had heart checks etc. Finally got referral to Queen Square in London and was diagnosed and treated with topiramate. That sent me mad within 2 weeks (suicidal ideation) and felt worse than ever. Anyway, am about 98% better now. Have not taken any meds since 8 months of lamotrigine back in 2008. No HRT either…tried it for a couple of months but gave me severe cramps…and I mean severe!!!

I believe that a lot of women going thorugh peri menopause suffer with dizziness and weird heads (see website Menopause Matters where there is a thread dedicated to this and replicates much of what people here suffer with) and that in some cases this is so misunderstood by the medical profession, who think that menopause is JUST sweats and no periods, that they look for ANYTHING else to explain it. :evil:

yes! I was 42 when this started. I think it’s quite possible that “perimenopause” can start in some people in their 30’s…it doesn’t mean our periods stop or change, but the hormones can definitely wax and wane…


Mine started at age 49. Never had migraine before but did have what I assumed was sinus headaches but may have been actually migraine. I went from primary care doctor to ENT to neurologist to endocrinologist finally to Mass Eye and Ear to see Dr. Priesol. Through all the test and dr.'s appointments the only abnormality was my FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) blood test. Over 3 tests my levels went from 88 to 24 to 77. This showed my hormones levels spiking and falling over and over again. No wonder I was a mess. So I was diagnosed with MAV with my trigger being fluctuating hormones. The dr. explained that it was not low estrogen at menopause that was triggering this mess but fluctuating hormones of peri-menopause. I tried an estrogen patch for 3 months or so, the theory was that this would stablize my estrogen level so it would stop spiking and dropping. But after discussing it with my oncologist (I had previously had a small amount of breast cancer removed) it was decided hormone replacement was more dangerous to me than MAV. I went off estrogen. I started watching my diet, exercising (even if I was walking funny on the treadmill) but that was all I could do and eventually it started helping. The exercise helped me sleep better which was a problem for me. I am now 53 and feel about 80%. I still have bouts of hot flashes and I know I will get a dizzy feeling after that. I still get buzzing in my ears which will make me feel a little off balance. I hope within the next year or so I will be 100%. I just know that hormones are the route cause of my problems. I guess just knowing what is happening in your body helps keep the anxiety at a lower more manageable level.

Did you every try any antidepressants?
That is interesting, but our hormones are in a constant state of fluctuation anyway, right? 80% isn’t bad, but it would be nice if you could get it even better!! Here’s hoping!!

This is my personal theory. I had had a handful of ocular migraines earlier in my life, but the vertigo started a year ago, at around 38 years of age. I am not menopausal but have definitely been seeing changes in my menstrual cycle over the past 18 months, and so I suspect hormonal changes of being behind the vertigo. I think I may be one of these people who stays in perimenopause for a really long time since I’m only 39 now, and my mother had menopause at a normal age (50/51ish). Not good news for my migraines! Right now, I’m on 10mg amitriptyline, which seems to be helping. I’m also being totally rigid about exercise and getting at least 5 days a week of hard cardio, which seems to help me as well.

Good luck!

I did try Lexapro. Took 1/8 of a 10mg. tab, so just a sliver of a pill. I took it at night, the next day I vomitted for hours and had such vivid dreams I felt like I never slept at all. I had to work full time, so I did not take another pill. I just concentrated on a healthy balanced diet. I also find eating a regular intervals helps a lot. Sometimes if I start to feel nauseous I have something to eat. Much like when being pregnant. But healthy eating, healthy sleeping and exercise is what has helped me through this. I am at 80% most of the time, although sometimes I am at 100%. I do know that if my ovaries are bothering me or I feel twinges I will get off balance somewhat. I do feel confident that within the next few years I will be at 100% and I would rather not take any medications if at all possible. Don’t get me wrong, I suffered terribly at first with this. I cancelled a family trip to Italy and spent much time on my couch. I also took 5 weeks off of work to try to figure out what was happening to my body. The more it pointed to hormones the less anxious I got about it and just concentrated on being healthy.
I decided I didn’t want to sit on the sidelines of my life so just kept on going. There still are nights that when I roll over I find the room moving and I have to get up and sit on the couch for the night, but I just take that as a part of my life now and go on. It is so infrequent though that I really don’t want the side effects of medication so I just deal with it.

Hi Sarah and other ladies of the group!

I can totally identify to what is being said here. My life seems to have fallen apart last November. I woke up with the room spinning when changing positions and a strange feeling of dizziness and fogginess off and on (but almost every day!). The spinning stopped when I was treated for a B.P.P.V. but the dizziness and foggy feeling remain.

I am 48 and was told that my blood tests in October suggest that I have hit menopause. I think my hormones are out of control and causing all this. I’ve tried monitoring my diet but get the feeling that the dizzy spells are hormone related and therefore out of my control. I am still passing tests and will see the neurologist next Monday but I do think this is migraine related since I have had occasional migraines with aura (without headaches) most of my adult life. I started taking magnesium and riboflavin in February but no help so far. My doctor just started me on 10 mg amitriptyline last Friday. I’m hoping it will help… How long before you experienced the positive effect of the medication?

I’ve been physically active for years but am having a hard time keeping fit since all this started. Am I the only one who feels more dizzy when exercising? Does it pass and get better in the long run?