Headache before menstruation is an unpleasant problem that many women face. Each representative of the fair sex has hormonal regulation of its own characteristics - some do not experience any additional symptoms, others suffer from a whole complex of PMS (premenstrual syndrome) manifestations: irritability, short temper, pain in the lower abdomen, change in taste preferences, moderate or severe headaches. Pain syndrome can be weak, and can manifest itself with considerable force, depriving a woman of the opportunity to do her usual activities.
Causes of headache before critical days
The main cause provoking cephalgia (headache) is a sharp change in hormonal levels. In the first half of the menstrual cycle, the body prepares for a possible pregnancy, therefore, the concentration of estrogen gradually increases. After ovulation, the level of estrogen decreases sharply, while the concentration of progesterone increases - such hormonal surges can provoke headache before menstruation. The probability of developing pain syndrome depends on the individual sensitivity of the female body to such changes - some women are absolutely not sensitive to changes in the hormonal background.
The second factor contributing to the development of cephalgia is a change in the regulation of water-salt metabolism. The maximum concentration of progesterone falls on the 24-26 day of the menstrual cycle, that is, just before menstruation. Hormone contributes to the excessive accumulation of fluid in the tissues, causing swelling of tissues, including the brain. With an excess of fluid in the body, excessive production of cerebrospinal fluid occurs, resulting in increased intracranial CSF pressure on the walls of the ventricles of the brain. All these factors provoke the occurrence of pain in the head, localized mainly in the neck and crown.
A particular cause of headache before menstruation is migraine, a disease that can significantly complicate a woman’s life. The exact cause of migraine has not yet been found, but there are data on factors that provoke new painful attacks - a sharp change in hormonal levels before menstruation can serve as a trigger (irritant), causing migraine pain.
Cephalgia with migraine is quite intense and localized in one half of the head, is oppressive or pulsating. Attacks last from several hours to several days and may be accompanied by nausea, photophobia, worse from head movements and harsh sounds. In severe cases, vomiting is possible without relief. Conventional painkillers do not usually help to get rid of a migraine attack.
In addition to the main causes of headaches before menstruation, there are several factors that increase the likelihood of developing cephalgia:
- The period of PMS in women is often associated with excessive irritability. The accumulation of negative emotions and emotional experiences can provoke pain in the head.
- Oral contraceptives cause fluctuations in the level of hormones in a woman's body. Studies have shown an increase in estrogen concentration 4 times in girls taking birth control pills. The onset of menstruation is accompanied by a sharp drop in the level of estrogen, with the result that there is pain in the head. In most cases, the start of taking oral contraceptives is accompanied by cephalgia, which disappears with continued use of the contraceptive drug in subsequent menstrual cycles.
Ways to deal with a headache before menstruation
The main method of pain relief in the head is to take painkillers. Preference should be given to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs - "Nurofen", "Nise", "Paracetamol". The headache associated with migraine, nonsteroidal drugs is not eliminated, for her developed special drugs from the group of triptans - "Sumatriptan", "Amigrenin."
The intensity of the headache can be reduced with the help of non-drug methods:
- A cold compress on the forehead and temples will help narrow blood vessels.
- Daytime sleep in a dark, well-ventilated area.
- Aromatherapy essential oils of lavender.
Prevention of the occurrence of headache attacks before menstruation
Most women underestimate the ability of food to provoke a pain attack. Some foods contain strong irritating chemicals that can affect the incidence of headaches. In the second half of the menstrual cycle, it is recommended to exclude products such as sausages, chocolate, canned goods, pickled products, strong tea and coffee, semi-finished products. Proper nutrition will help not only reduce the likelihood of headache, but also generally improve the body.
In the second phase of the cycle, for the prevention of headaches, some products should be abandoned or their consumption reduced.
During the period before menstruation, salt intake should be severely limited - it is capable of retaining fluid in the body, which increases the likelihood of cephalgia. The daily rate of salt is not more than 5 grams.
In addition to proper nutrition, the prevention of headache attacks include:
- Refusal of bad habits - smoking, taking alcohol and drugs.
- Compliance with the regime of work and rest.
- Night sleep is not shorter than 7 hours.
- Timely treatment of emerging diseases.
- Control over negative emotions.
An effective way to prevent cephalgia before menstruation is sports. Exercise contributes to the overall strengthening of the body and blood saturation with oxygen. Preference should be given to aerobic sports - jogging in the fresh air, aerobics, swimming, cycling, skating or roller skating, basketball.
Why do headaches appear on the eve of menstruation?
Many women of childbearing age complain to their gynecologist for headaches of varying intensity on the eve of menstruation. In some situations, the pain is mild, do not cause much discomfort. Sometimes - very strong, accompanied by dizziness, general malaise, weakness and even nausea.
There are many reasons that can cause PMS and headaches. The main ones are:
Hormonal changes. Active hormonal adjustment in the female body begins 10-12 days before the start of menstruation. During this period, there is an active production of the hormone progesterone, which prepares the body for pregnancy. If conception does not occur, hormonal changes dramatically. These fluctuations and provoke headaches, other related unpleasant symptoms.
Violations of water-salt balance. The increase in the level of certain hormones before menstruation leads to fluid retention in the body. What do we have as a result? Edema, external and internal. In the first case, we see swollen limbs and joints. In the second case, swelling of the brain tissue occurs, which provokes squeezing and aching pain, with a predominant localization in the back of the head and crown.
Contraceptive use. Very often it is the contraceptive pills that become the "culprit" of migraines before menstruation. A lot of oral contraceptives have headaches in the list of possible side effects.
Malfunctions of the nervous system. Increased irritability, nervousness, tearfulness, depressive state - all these phenomena characteristic of PMS can lead to pain in the skull on the eve of critical days.
Migraine Attacks. Women who are constantly suffering from prolonged headaches, in the last days of the menstrual cycle, experience more pronounced and intense pain in the head. The latter arise as a result of a sharp spasm of the vessels of the head and their subsequent expansion.
Numerous studies show that the causes of headaches before menstruation can also be:
- thyroid dysfunction,
- psycho-emotional disorders
- violations of the daily routine,
- previously transferred abortions,
- surgery on the uterus and fallopian tubes,
- incorrect selection of hormone-containing contraceptives,
- infectious diseases.
Most often, headaches before menstruation begin to assert themselves a week before menstruation and pass with their onset. In some situations - stretch for a longer time.
Headache before menstruation: types, associated symptoms
Migraine before menstruation manifests itself in different ways and very individually in each case. It all depends on the root causes of pain in the head.
Pain can be strong, mild and moderately pronounced. Normally considered moderate pain, appearing shortly before menstrual bleeding, which do not violate the usual rhythm of life of a woman, do not require the use of potent painkillers.
The location of pain can be:
- temporal region of the head.
Most women experience headaches on the eve of menstruation in the temples. Others are throbbing pains in the neck or crown. Some women do not feel any discomfort on the eve and during menstruation.
Headaches of this nature in the overwhelming majority of cases are accompanied by other concomitant, unpleasant symptoms:
- burning sensation and discomfort in the eye area,
- irritability to any bright light,
- excessive sweating
- numbness of fingers and toes,
- nausea and periodic vomiting,
- dizziness, recurrent pain in the heart,
- depression, apathy, all sorts of neuropsychiatric disorders,
- mood swings
- sleep disturbances, constant insomnia or, on the contrary, constant sleepiness,
- pains in the lower back and lower abdomen,
- breast tenderness,
- digestive disorders: swelling, constipation, diarrhea, increased meteorism,
How to cope with pain
Experts emphasize that the treatment of headaches before menstruation should be complete and be comprehensive. Just taking a pill and waiting for improvement is not enough. It is necessary to address the issue in a comprehensive manner:
- redefine lifestyle
- give up anything that can provoke headaches,
- follow the recommendations of your gynecologist.
Most often, to alleviate the condition of the woman can be recommended:
Painkillers. Here, as a rule, we are talking about analgesics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. As an emergency aid for headaches, the following can be used: “Analgin”, “Spazmalgon”, “Tempalgin”, “Ibuprofen”, “Naproxen”, “Diclofenac”, etc.
With constantly worrisome headaches before menstruation, experts recommend starting taking painkillers 2-3 days before the onset of pain. To be able to establish the frequency, frequency and frequency of pain, you should keep a calendar of beginning and end of menstruation, in which note the intensity, duration and nature of headaches.
Hormonal drugs. Allow to adjust hormonal background, get rid of sudden hormonal fluctuations, hormonal imbalance. The use of such funds will avoid acute migraine attacks on the eve of menstruation.
Diet. Adjusting the diet can also alleviate the severity of PMS, reduce headaches before critical days. During this period, you should abandon products that can provoke increased pain:
- alcoholic beverages
- smoked, salty and spicy foods
- red wine
- strong tea and coffee.
The main focus in nutrition should be on:
- fresh vegetables and fruits
- lean meats and fish,
- natural milk, low-fat kefir and live yoghurts, nuts,
- natural seasonings.
Some women, when painkillers do not help, use alcohol as an effective means of getting rid of migraine. In the short term, alcoholic beverages do reduce pain, but in the long run they have a negative effect on the state of the vessels. In order not to have any health problems in the future, you should give preference to harmless remedies that give a long-term effect.
Vitamin complexes. A deficiency of some micro, macronutrients and vitamins in the body can manifest itself just before and during menstruation. To provide the body with essential nutrients, the gynecologist may recommend the intake of special vitamin and mineral complexes, a more balanced diet. A complex of vitamins is selected for each woman separately, depending on the severity of PMS, the presence of concomitant symptoms, and general health.
Vitamins for PMS (video)
Vitamins with premenstrual syndrome, cycle disturbances, headaches, lower back and abdominal pain, heavy menstruation in women.
Essential oils. A great help in the fight against migraine on the eve of menstruation is lavender oil. It can be used as follows: add 2-3 drops of oil to a small bowl with hot water. Lean over a container with a towel over your head and breathe in lavender vapors for 5 minutes.
Another possible use is self-massage of the temples with oil for 2-3 minutes. During the massage you need to follow the breath: it should be calm and even. Instead of lavender oil, you can use others - eucalyptus, sandalwood, mint oil.
Cold pack. An excellent assistant in the fight against migraine. To improve the condition, it is enough to apply a towel or a cold heating pad dipped in cold water to your forehead for 10-15 minutes.
On the eve of menstruation, it will not be superfluous to abandon increased physical exertion, weight lifting. It is important to minimize stress, increased mental stress. Herbal teas (with mint or melissa) will help to cope with anxiety and nervousness.
Relieve the condition will help: the rejection of bad habits (including smoking), regular walks in the fresh air, swimming, light gymnastics.
Full sleep and rest - an important component in the process of combating migraine. The daily routine should be made in such a way that sleep had at least 7-8 hours.
In order to prevent headaches before menstruation should:
- Eliminate nerve overload.
- Provide a full night's rest (by building the right daily routine).
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle (includes a balanced diet, the rejection of bad habits, regular exercise, etc.).
- Control weight (overweight has a negative effect on overall health, increases pain in the period before and during menstruation).
- Regular consumption of sufficient fresh vegetables and fruits.
- Ensure adequate intake of vitamins B, A, E.
- Engage in water sports (swimming - the best solution). Regular visits to the pool will be sufficient exercise, will help strengthen almost all muscle groups, increase their elasticity and tone, reduce the severity of pain.
For many women, headaches before menstruation have become the norm. Some dutifully tolerate unpleasant symptoms, blaming everything on the ICP and not noticing the “alarm bells”. At the same time, doctors emphasize that strong, unbearable migraines, which increase before menstruation and do not pass after their termination, require compulsory consultation and adequate treatment.
Why the headache before menstruation
And yet, why before the monthly headache? In the middle of the cycle, ovulation occurs and a woman's progesterone level increases dramatically, actively preparing the body for the onset of pregnancy. If this does not happen, then menstruation begins, after which the level of hormones changes dramatically, which affects the whole state of the woman.
It is these differences and cause premenstrual syndrome. However, not all women begin to feel bad before menstruation. Well-being largely depends on the following factors:
- change in water-salt balance. Before menstruation, the level of estrogen in the blood rises, which leads to water retention in the body. This can contribute not only to excess weight, which returns to normal after the end of menstruation, but also the deterioration of health. For many people, excess fluid turns into headaches due to an increase in blood pressure,
- swelling. If there is a tendency to their formation, then swelling of brain tissue can occur. If this happens, then it becomes difficult for a woman to get rid of crushing headaches. They appear in the region of the head and the crown and can spoil the general well-being. При этом может повышаться артериальное и внутричерепное давление.
You also need to take diuretics during PMS, but only after consulting a doctor. If you take them yourself, the body's water-salt balance may change and kidney failure may occur.
In addition, special attention deserves and migraine during menstruation. Especially often attacks occur before the onset of menstruation. Such pain is characterized by a feeling of pulsation, which gives to the temporal-orbital area or may appear in the forehead area. During an attack, the vessels narrow strongly, then become dilated, which leads to a severe headache.
Neurotic symptoms also appear very often. Chronic migraine is another reason that causes headaches and many other unpleasant symptoms before menstruation.
Unpleasant PMS symptoms
More than 60% of women do not tolerate hormonal adjustment before menstruation every month. PMS often reminds of itself by such symptoms as:
touchiness, tearfulness, irritability. Emotions start to get out of control, and a woman may cry or scream, get angry at someone at the most inappropriate moment,
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and indigestion,
- difficulties in work that requires concentration, increased concentration of attention. It is proved that part of the accidents that occurred due to the fault of female drivers, accounted for just before menstruation,
- sleep disorders: insomnia or sleepiness,
- the head starts to hurt, and ordinary remedies do not help.
Migraine caused by PMS may be different from the usual attacks of this disease. The attacks last longer and get stronger than during normal migraine. On average, the duration of one attack lasts 72 hours.
Also, with menstrual migraine there is never an aura, as with other attacks. Such a headache is worse treatment and very often becomes the main cause of pain in the whole body, weakness and fatigue.
Can I Cure a Headache During PMS
Poor health does not allow a woman to lead a normal life. Headache with PMS should be resolved. Doctors give the following recommendations for getting rid of headaches, which can significantly alleviate the condition of a woman at this time and even completely relieve a headache. First of all, it is:
- Taking painkillers. If you are worried about severe headaches in the premenstrual period, doctors advise you to take mefenamic acid, ibuprofen, diclofenac, naproxen, and others. To prevent attacks of pain, they need to be taken a few days before the onset of menstruation. Also, doctors advise to increase the level of estrogen before menstruation. To do this, you need to spend hormone replacement therapy, for example, use a patch with estrogen, which can be bought at almost any pharmacy. This greatly eases unpleasant symptoms and removes headaches associated with hormonal changes in the body.
Proper nutrition.You should not eat a lot of spicy food, fatty, meat, and also get involved in chocolates and other sweets. If a woman has a migraine, then cheeses with mold, smoked sausage or salted fish should be excluded. It is proved that these products can provoke vascular spasms and migraine attacks. Other provocateurs headaches are nuts and alcoholic beverages, especially strong. Due to fluid retention in the body, you should try to limit salt intake, then you can avoid swelling and headaches.
- Coffee. If you use it a lot, then the headache before the onset of menstruation cannot be avoided. Before menstruation, it is worth reducing the intake of coffee, especially natural and strong, with a high content of caffeine, like other drinks, such as cocoa, strong tea or cola. These drinks contain large amounts of caffeine, which can provoke headaches.
- Stressful situations. They can often provoke headaches, so try not to get nervous at this time and reduce your mental stress. Mint and valerian teas, relaxing baths, aromatherapy and socializing with nice people and pets will help improve overall well-being. Therefore, in a relaxed and friendly environment, the body relaxes and headaches before menstruation occur much less frequently.
Nutrients.Doctors advise taking calcium and eating as many foods as possible that contain it. Also, magnesium and vitamin B6 help the woman's body to cope with poor health.
- Cold treatment. Cooling compresses, reception of a contrasting spirit facilitate headaches and significantly relieve tension. In the morning it is very useful to wash with very cold water or use chilled micellar water to improve overall well-being.
- Contraceptive use. For some people, these pills help to relieve headaches. But remember that incorrectly chosen contraceptives can provoke unpleasant headaches before menstruation. It is best not to experiment, and take drugs that improve your overall health.
So, a headache before menstruation is not a disease, but the body’s response to hormonal changes. And in your power to make this process painless. Doctors advise to limit sweets, caffeine, alcoholic beverages, as well as try to take less salt. Some people help painkillers. But they are best taken after consultation with a doctor.