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Women and migraines: the hormone connection

Becky Stuckey explains how nurses can support migraine sufferers with prevention and management advice

Widely misunderstood and stigmatised, migraine is a debilitating, neurological condition typically presenting as a throbbing headache or pulsating feeling on one side of the head but sometimes both. It is often worsened by movement and can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, heightened sensitivity to light, smells, noise, and other symptoms. Migraine is an invisible illness and in the UK it is under-diagnosed.

Typical migraine symptoms

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Hormonally related migraine

Migraine is three times more common in women than in men and hormones can play a big part of this.1 For women of menstruating age, migraine is most likely to develop in either the 2 days leading up to a period or the first 3 days during a period. The attacks are typically more severe than migraines at other times of the month and are more likely to come back the next day.2

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