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Unable to find treatment for menstraul migraines...defeated.

Hi. I have suffered with migraines all my life....differing severities and frequencies.

In the last year, I have been dealing with menstraul migraines. They come on three days before or three days after my period starts. These migraines last for THREE days. All the classic migraine symptoms occur...including constant vomiting from the pain. I am a stay at home mom...and this has become these headaches have truly started to create depression and anxiety. I have to miss out on many things with family during this time and I have to revolve my life around this time each month.

I have discussed this with my regular doctor and gone around and around with no effective answers. I am currently taking 800mg of Motrin and Tylenol 3 with codeine for treatment....which does not touch the pain during a severe migraine. I was also given immitrex for treatment but then found out that people who also take Zoloft should caution taking immitrex due to serotonin syndrome, which can be deadly. Ugh!!!

I then talked to my OB/GYN to ask if birth control would work. She put me on LoEstrin 24. Was excited to try it....only to find out that they just discontinued it and replaced it with chewable Minastrin. Read up on Minastrin only to find a majority of bad reviews saying that it is nothing like LoEstrin 24 and that the side effects are horrible.

I feel helpless and alone. No one seems to have answers. They now want me to go to neurology....basically I think because my doctor has no other answers. Will a neurologist know anything about hormone headaches caused by menstraul cycles?

Does anyone have any advice?

Thanks. Jessica

  1. Hi Jessica,

    There are a few things to talk about here...

    Your doctor: Neurologists are not the best doctors to see if you're having trouble with your Migraines. A Migraine and Headache specialist IS. Here are some informative links for you about finding the right doctor for your situation:

    How Are Migraine Specialists Different? https://migraine.com/blog/how-are-migraine-specialists-different/

    Looking For A Migraine Specialist? https://migraine.com/blog/looking-for-a-migraine-specialist/

    Menstrual Migraines can be difficult to treat, but there are some good options. One of them is Frova. Frova is a triptan that is sometimes taken as a preventive.

    Short-Term Option for Migraine Prevention: Frova https://migraine.com/blog/short-term-option-for-migraine-prevention-frova/

    Serotonin Syndrome is one of those things that is super important for patients to be aware of and talk to their doctors about, but it is very rare. It isn't a reason to get scared and toss out the baby with the bath water if your doctor thinks it is reasonable to try medicine combinations. It is often medicine combinations that make the biggest difference for patients. The trick is in having that really good conversation with your doctor so you understand what's useful to worry about, and what is worth the risk. All meds have side effects, and all can result in death if not taken appropriately. The key is starting low and going slow and being an educated patient.

    Migraine Medications – Contraindications vs Warnings https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-medications-contraindications-vs-warnings/

    I hope some of this is helpful for you. Let us know what you decide and how you are doing 😀

    ~Ellen

    1. Hi, I haven't been on this forum for a while. I suffer chronic daily migraines. My menstural migraines flatten me for 3 weeks or more. I am on the pill (Levlin) to make sure my migraines only happen every 3 months. I am terrified of the pain of these migraines. I have a little boy I have to look after & run around & its so so hard. Off the pill my hormonal migraines are just as bad.

      I suffer terribly every single day and night as it is with severe migraines & to go through these as well is horrible. My twin sister had a partial historectomy (cant spell) years ago for her hormonal migraines & she hasn't suffered those since. As far as I am aware they don't really do that any more or else I would be there like a shot.

      I don't really know what to say to you as far as pain relief. Our meds here in Australia are so much different to what you guys have. You seem to have alot more at your disposal plus you have headache/migraine clinics which we don't.

      Personally I have tried everything to help, Botox which was done through of all people a beautician, I don't think she did enough on me though, preventatives, steroid shots in back of head, norspan patches, Lyrica, MRI clear, 2 Neurologists, 2 Physios, 5 Ostepaths, 2 accupuncturists, been in & out of hospital so many times with no pain relief. Most recently 2 weeks ago by ambulance. All they could tell me at the end of that day is we cant help you. My migraine pain levels didn't even go down.

      I just want to really say I guess you are not alone with these type of migraines. Understanding & support from other people in your situation is critical I feel when trying to deal with these.

      1. garfieldrules, they still do the hysterectomy. I had a full hysterectomy (@40 with no kids) in 2009. I was the first person Southern Health approved one for. It helped with the menstrual migraines but I still get migraines. The Botox has helped the most of anything.

        1. Rebeccapa

          Unfortunately, research has shown that this more often causes a worsening of Migraines than helping them. I cringe every time I hear of a patient considering one without seeing a Migraine specialist and considering all options. For instance, patients can "try before they buy" the surgery. More information is located in our forums here: https://migraine.com/topic/hormonal-changes-in-women/

          ~Ellen

      2. You need a neurgologist to do the Botox - most people that get it for beauty purposes get it in their face and get like 5 units. Neurologists do it in your face, your head, your neck and get over 20 units.

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