Ovarian Hormones and Migraine Headache: Understanding Mechanisms and Pathogenesis--Part 2

Vincent T. Martin, MD; Michael Behbehani, PhD


Headache. 2006;46(3):365-386. 

In This Article


Migraine headache is strongly influenced by reproductive events that occur throughout the lifespan of women. Each of these reproductive events has a different "hormonal milieu," which might modulate the clinical course of migraine headache. Estrogen and progesterone can be preventative or provocative for migraine headache under different circumstances depending on their absolute serum levels, constancy of exposure, and types of estrogen/progesterone derivatives. Attacks of migraine with and without aura respond differently to changes in ovarian hormones. Clearly, a greater knowledge of ovarian hormones and their effect on migraine is essential to a greater understanding of the mechanisms and pathogenesis of migraine headache.

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