Close look on hormonal headaches

Fact Checked

One of the cause of hormonal headaches is the use of birth control pills among women. Remember that headaches are considered as a usual side effect of birth control pills.

How birth control pills work

Birth control pills or oral contraceptives work by preventing pregnancy by altering the way the body releases hormones. The hormones are potent chemicals that the body utilizes to function which are produced by the endocrine glands.

The birth control pills stop pregnancy by disrupting the discharge of estrogen that averts an egg from being released. It results to the thickening of the cervical mucus that makes it difficult for the sperm to encounter an egg that was released. The pills also thin out the coating of the uterus to avert a fertilized egg from attaching.

What are the indications for hormonal headaches?

The fluctuation in the level of hormones caused by the menstrual cycle can instigate headaches in some women. In some women, the birth control pills can actually minimize the severity of these headaches and their frequency. This is due to the fact that the pills even out the level of estrogen.

In some cases, the drop in the level of estrogen that go together with menstrual bleeding can cause or aggravate the hormonal headaches.

Remember that the birth control pills should not be solely blamed. Whether one is using the pills or not, the reduction in the level of estrogen that occurs with menstrual bleeding can put the body into a state of hormonal withdrawal.

Hormonal headaches
The fluctuation in the level of hormones caused by the menstrual cycle can instigate headaches in some women.

Preventive measures for headaches

The use of birth control pills at the same time on a daily basis can minimize its side effects so that the level of hormones remains steady. A change in the time the pill is taken will cause a shift in the level of hormones, thus triggering hormonal headaches. Aside from lowering its effectiveness, it can also increase the risk for pregnancy.

The use of over-the-counter or prescription pain medications before menstruation starts can also prevent the symptoms including the hormonal headaches before they start.

How to deal with hormonal headaches

There are treatment measures that can minimize the headaches once they occur such as the following:

  • Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Applying an ice pack on the head or neck
  • Prescription pain medications
  • Acupuncture
  • Biofeedback

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