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Link between Ovarian Cyst & Migraines?

My mom told me I started having migraines when I was 4 years old, only she and I called them "sick headaches" because they would cause me to vomit. Fortunately, the migraines were infrequent until I started my period at age 16. I took birth control pills from 19 to 29, and they were definitely less frequent then.
I had a hysterectomy in 2007 (they left the ovaries), and then in 2009 was diagnosed with Stage I Melanoma. As a result of the cancer diagnosis, I have a PET scan done once a year to ensure the cancer has not spread.
In the 2011 and the 2012 PET scans, a cyst showed on my right ovary. It had not grown between the PETs, so Dr. decided just to keep an eye on it. This past year, my migraines have become more frequent and much more severe - to the point that I am missing work, mostly 2 days at a time.
I got to thinking about the past migraines, and analyzing and noticed that the migraines occur around the same time of the month. Since I don't have periods any longer, this never occured to me. Also, I have slight stabbing pain on my right side, around the area where the ovary is located.
I have a Dr. appt with my cancer doctor in November to schedule my PET for this year. It'll be interesting to see if the cyst has grown in size at all.

My questions is - has anyone linked the two conditions in their own experience? If so, what did your doctor say, if it was discussed. I'm curious to know the answer. 😀

  1. Hi FashnDiva,

    Let me first say how sorry I am to hear about your cancer diagnosis. I'll keep my fingers crossed your appointment in November goes well.

    Ovaries generate fluctuating levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone and these changes can trigger migraines. Here is some information from the American Headache Society that discusses this topic;

    Dr. Marcus just wrote up some information on this topic;

    Let me know if this helps,


    1. FashnDiva - Ovarian cysts can result from many different causes. The important thing would be to determine what has caused this cyst for you, and if there are other symptoms going on of which you may not be aware. For example, endometriosys can result in persistent ovarian cysts. PCOS can result in persistent and or recurrent cysts. Both conditions result in other hormonal imbalances and problems as well, and both are frequently comorbid with Migraine.

      Cysts may be removed, but it is unlikely it is the cyst itself that is causing exacerbations of your Migraines.

      Have you sought the help of a really good gynecologist with a specific interest in ovarian issues? That might be a great place to begin. I also suggest making sure you're seeing a Migraine/headache specialist


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