Navigating Migraines Through Fertility Treatments
Last updated: March 2021
Pregnancy is a time when it’s common to experience headaches. It can actually be a “good sign” that hormone levels are changing to support a pregnancy. These hormone fluctuations can also occur before a pregnancy – when you’re going through fertility treatments. Part of the fertility journey is giving the body supplemental hormones that will support pregnancy.
Do you experience migraines related to your hormones?
The potential threat of a migraine
It sounds great in theory, but when you’re a migraine sufferer, that’s a huge red flag that potential migraine danger is near. And worst of all, depending upon where you are in the cycle, you don’t have your normal medications to lean on if a migraine does come. I did surprisingly well for weeks on the fertility medication. This was a huge win! Not a single migraine. Then it struck. And it struck big.
Thrust into an unbearable attack
The migraine started mild, but by the end of the day, it became unbearable. It was the kind that you wish you could pause the pain just long enough to fall asleep, so you can get relief from the pain. And, of course, you hope that you get to wake up feeling relief.
There was an aspect to it that felt like some post-traumatic stress. I felt like I was transported back to my childhood bed that I would lay in for days at a time with no relief from the medications. I had forgotten just how piercing the pain can be and how frustrating it can feel not to have relief in sight.
Natural remedies weren't enough
I’ve gotten them for decades and through the process navigated a lot of natural tools to prevent them and they are incredibly effective to this day. However, getting out of a debilitating migraine is a different beast.
I tried all the things. My best combination was an ice pack and consistently reapplying essential oils. I eventually was able to sleep it off and within a few long days, it subsided. When you’re not in the throes of a migraine, you can tell yourself that you’ll be able to manage it. But when you’re in the moment of that intense debilitating pain, it feels inescapable.
I try to remind myself that it won’t last forever. And once it passes, it’s an opportunity to do everything I can to support my body.
Controlling what I can
Stay well hydrated every single day. This is not only because being better hydrated helps me feel less prone to a migraine, but if I do get one and experience vomiting, I’m at least starting from a place of being properly hydrated. Practice yoga regularly to ensure muscular tension doesn’t build in my neck becoming another possible trigger. And manage stress and best as possible… because that never helps anything.
I’m also looking into possible herbal teas that I can explore. I use culinary herbs in many ways to support my health – ginger, peppermint, lavender – but I’ve never explored them for managing migraines through fertility treatments and future pregnancy.
Do you experience hormonal headaches, or did you experience migraine during pregnancy? What were your best strategies to prevent and manage them?
In the past year, has insurance made it difficult to get your migraine treatment?