To the ladies....(sorry fellas)

Hi There

I am currently seeing improvements in my MAV following starting wearing a dental splint. Before this, my symptoms were 24/7 and were pretty much at the same level every day. Now I have a lot more ups and downs in my symptoms, which I am trying to make some kind of sense of. I have noticed that I feel much worse during my period and about halfway through my cycle for a day (which I have realised is probably ovulation time).

My questions are …how many people notice a deterioration in their symptoms around their period? Is it before, during or after your period? Do you notice any changes mid cycle?

I would appreciate your help with this.


For me, around 1 week before my period, my sx (symptoms) begin to elevate. I become much more photophobic, lately mild headaches, more nausea, to the point that I take my anti-nausea medicine almost every 6 hours as prescribed and just general malaise.


Yes, I get an elevation in symptoms mid cycle and also coming up to my period. A long while back it used to be at the end of my period as well but that seems to have changed.

Although I am in a relapse at the moment, I was doing well for a long time. Sometimes, when much better, I got away with a cycle without fluctuations, but as a general rule, the hormonal cycle is a difficult time.

Hormonal fluctuations are well documented as a migraine trigger. It’s why occasionally people go on the pill if they are migraineurs. The pill helps some people and makes others worse. It’s also why some mavers report a complete remission of symptoms during pregnancy and similarly some people get relief at menopause.

Glad to hear the brace is helping you. I agree with you, I do thing clenching/tmj exacerbates a migraine problem. I was surprised Dr Hain didn’t think so.


Becky - so glad to hear that you are continuing to see improvements. Almost everyone that I have communicated with this have noticed fluctuations based on their hormones. It is somewhat difficult for me to track things because my menstrual cycle is pretty irregular. However, I am definitely worse the week before my period and during my period.

Hi Becky,

I feel worse around my period too. I can’t really do much during that time…Have anyone ever tried to go on the pill for MAV? if so what was your experience?


Hi Ladies,

Hormones are a huge trigger for me. During my period is definitely the worst. The week after is almost like a hangover. I feel my best after ovulation. As for relief during pregnancy, I had the opposite reaction. I had my first several classic migraines when I was pregnant.

As for the pill, please be careful with artificial hormones, especially if you are over 35. There is an increased risk of stroke with each of the following: migraine with aura, the pill, hormone replacement therapy, women over 35. When you combine them, the risk goes up. It is still relatively small, but it is something to consider before making a decision regarding artificial hormones. FYI - smoking also increases the risk.

I wish I knew there would be relief after menopause, but I know some of our forum members’ MAV problems started after menopause. :?


Birth control pills are a huge migraine trigger so I believe that would be a terrible idea. I was actually on the pill when this all started. Initially, from the pill, my headaches got worse and worse, and then eventually I woke up one day with this whole MAV mess. I believe when HRT gets even more perfected something like that could be beneficial. Dr. Buchholtz told me that it is not yet perfected enough, but that was just his opinion.

Well actually, some here are on birth control pills and haven’t seen a correlation between them and migraines, but perhaps that is because they are low dose and/or have been on for years? Hormones likely play a role in all this, but considering that males also have MAV/migraines, it may be unclear how horomones affect it. I do know that birth control pills can cause regular headaches - you can change to a different type or lower dose if that happens. Some docs believe that menopause causes migraines to get better; this may be the case in women who have migraine issues prior to menopause. As we all know, however, every one is different.

bcrelief - you are correct. I’m really sorry if I made such a general comment. I just would never want what happened to me to happen to anyone else.

Thanks Guys. I’m terrible at the beginning of my period, I literally couldn’t move off the sofa on Friday as I was so sleepy. I was feeling VERY irritated as well so it was probably just as well I didn’t…

What makes it all doubly annoying is that I have a very irregular cycle and sometimes it is only 21 days (and my period lasts for 7 days). So nearly as soon as I have finished my period, I am ovulating and then very quickly it is time to get PMT again in preparation for the next period. Oh sometimes I wish I were a man :?

I have also wondered a lot about the Pill connection. I was put on the Pill at age 15 to control heavy periods and stayed on it for 12 years. I wonder if my irregular cycle is caused by it never being given a chance to settle down naturally, and whether this is connected to the MAV as it started a year after coming off the Pill. I don’t suppose I’ll ever know…

Thanks again for the feedback.


Hi Becky ,
Yes My migrianes become worse a week before my period and during.
I found this last two weeks have been still a little off during my period.
It seems the Nasty hormones still have an impact even on effexor.
Glad to hear your having some good results from the brace.


My dizziness is consistently worse the week before my period and is particularly bad from 1-2 days before my period until about the second or third day of my period. I also always get a headache 1 -2 days before my period. I usually take some ibuprofen for the headache and it works within one hour. The very first time I got the dizziness (2 1/2 years ago while watching American Idol ) was the third day of my period. I’m hoping that this will settle after menapause. My mom has had migraines since her 20’s. She had a hysterectomy but unfortunately, the migraines worsened after the hysterectomy and are still very frequent to this day. She doesn’t have MAV - just the migraines.

I believe hormones have a huge part in vestibular migraines…
I could say that b4 i got pregnant i had the odd migraine on and off ,when i was pregnant i got none ,but after my boys were born hell broke loose that was 1999,i had to have a hysterectomy in 2002 at the age 0f 27 and funny enough i felt a slight improvment with the vertigo afterwards,after 3 years of not being able to even drive i was able to jump behind the wheel again.It has been 6 years now since i had the hysterectomy and im on HRT and im finding my vertigo and migraines are coming back just about every day…I just hope i dont go back into the vertigo that i had back in 1999,i was bed ridden for 3 years with it .

Hi Ladies,

Hope you don’t mind me adding something here. I noticed that Dr Cherchi from Hain’s office mentions this on his patient info sheet:

[size=130]Migraine patterns are sometimes associated with hormonal fluctuations[/size]
It is fairly common for migraine patterns to coincide with other physiological changes. A common example is that migraine can be affected by hormonal changes such as those that occur during the menstrual cycle (Brandes 2006).

The paper he refers to is a systematic review of the literature titled “The influence of estrogen on migraine”. JAMA. 2006 Apr 19;295(15):1824-30

— Begin quote from ____

CONTEXT: Menstrual migraine affects approximately 50% to 60% of female migraineurs, but knowledge regarding the role of hormones, especially estrogen, appears incomplete. OBJECTIVE: To conduct a systematic review to determine the role of hormones on menstrual migraine. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: MEDLINE (January 1966 through September 1, 2005) and EMBASE Drugs and Pharmacology (January 1991 through September 1, 2005) were searched for articles published in the English language using the keywords migraine, estrogen, menstrual migraine, pure menstrual migraine, true menstrual migraine, menstrually-associated migraine, menstrually-related migraine, pregnancy, breast-feeding, perimenopause, menopause, nitric oxide, and estrogen receptors. A total of 643 unique articles were reviewed for relevance, scientific rigor, and generalizability. For each relevant citation, the bibliography was reviewed to identify additional sources of pertinent data. EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: The influence of estrogen on migraine is evident by a 3-fold greater prevalence among women compared with men, and by significant changes in migraine incidence with changes in female reproductive status. Menstrual migraines are usually more resistant to treatment, generally not associated with aura, of longer duration, and associated with more functional disability compared with attacks at other times of the month. Biochemical and genetic evidence suggest central and peripheral roles for estrogen in the pathophysiology of menstrual migraine, with potential interactions with excitatory circuits, including serotonergic components. Although evidence for estrogen as a preventive treatment for menstrual migraine is inconsistent, serotonin receptor agonists (triptans) provide acute relief and also may have a role in prevention. CONCLUSIONS: [size=130]Epidemiological, pathophysiological, and clinical evidence link estrogen to migraine headaches.[/size] Triptans appear to provide acute relief and also may be useful for headache prevention. Clear, focused, and evidence-based treatment algorithms are needed to support primary care physicians, neurologists, and gynecologists in the treatment of this common condition.

— End quote

This one is a free download for the full review:

OK … I’m outta here now! Scott :wink:

Thanks Scott! I’ll forgive you this once. :wink:


Hey Everyone,

I did some research online to figure out if birth control can help migraine. It seems to me that it can either help, make it worse or not do anything at all, just like the other meds we are on. I know for sure that when I got MAV last year I was starting to have a lot of hormonal problem, like irregular periods etc. I went to a gynecologist and she prescribe me birth control pills but I never took it because I was afraid of it…I’m thinking of maybe trying birth control this time around to see if that would help before maybe trying Paxil…
What do you think? :?


Hello ladies -

Like all of you, I too have hormonal causes for my migraines. I am going to try a very low dose estrogen patch at the first sign of the increased symptoms a few days before my cycle this month. I know someone here who HAD MAV and she was helped a great deal by using this patch to lessen the severity of estrogen withdrawal which occurs before our cycle starts. I’ll let you know how it works out.


Hi Molly,

I hope the patch works!!! I asked Hain today if he favors the idea of taking birth control to stabilize the hormones. He said he did and that it might help. I’m going to give it a try.


So Emma -

Are you going to try both the Paxil and the birth control pill? Just wondered if the idea of the BCP was going to be instead of Paxil? That’s interesting that Hain is in favor of the BCP.


I really think we need Heather to come on boar with this post.
she’s the expert in understanding hormones.