Living with Migraine - Women | American Migraine Foundation

Signs & Symptoms

Migraine in Women

Migraine is particularly common in women. Three times more women experience migraine than men, and research has shown that fluctuation in hormones plays a role. While hormonal fluctuation is normal, you deserve to have control over your migraine. Learn more about your treatment options and how the migraine experience can change throughout life’s milestones.


Patient & Caregivers

The impact of migraine
in women

17.5% of women have migraine. Additionally, women have unique challenges living with migraine. Menstruation, pregnancy and menopause with their related hormonal fluctuations may impact intensity and frequency of migraine in women. Here is what you need to know:

Most women experience fewer migraine attacks during pregnancy.

Fluctuating hormones are a common trigger.

Women usually experience migraine when their first period starts.

Menopause can reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks.

Migraine through a woman’s life

Migraine frequency and treatment options can change as women progress through different life stages. Fluctuating hormones—particularly estrogen—are a common trigger for migraine attacks. During menstruation, pregnancy and breastfeeding, women with migraine may experience different frequency and severity levels of migraine attacks.

Menstrual Migraine and Treatment Options

Nearly 2 out of 3 women with migraine will experience an attack around the time their period starts. Researchers believe menstrual migraine occurs because the sharp drop in estrogen can trigger an attack. Luckily, there are treatment options available that can help. 

Migraine, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

During pregnancy and breastfeeding, some women may experience changes in migraine frequency and severity. Our free, downloadable guide on managing migraine during pregnancy provides the information you need, including medications that are safe to take when pregnant.

Migraine and Menopause

Watch as Dr. Susan Hutchinson discusses the hormone shifts women experience throughout their lives—particularly during menopause—that affect migraine symptoms and what you need to know to manage them. Watch a recording of the webinar or read a summary here.

Dr. Hutchinson is a headache specialist and founder of Orange County Migraine and Headache Center. Prior to receiving her certification in headache medicine, she spent 22 years serving as a family medicine provider and worked with women on managing hormones.

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