In a given year, 18 out of 100 women age 12 and older experience at least one migraine headache, a misfortune that strikes only 6 pecent to 7 percent of men. What’s behind the difference? The answer, in a word, is hormones, but the explanation is far from complete.
The role of hormones
Many factors contribute to headaches for both men and women, including family history and age. Women, however, often notice a relationship between headaches and hormonal changes. Headaches often begin around the time of a girl’s first period and accompany menstruation regularly throughout the reproductive years. Birth control pills and hormone therapy also can trigger headaches. During pregnancy, headaches often become less bothersome. The simple explanation? The hormones estrogen and progesterone — which play key roles in regulating the menstrual cycle and pregnancy — may affect headache-related chemicals in the brain as well. Higher estrogen levels may improve headaches, while lower estrogen levels can make headaches worse. Continue reading About the connection between headaches and hormones