Is it Common to Get Migraines Before Your Period?

I get migraines a few days before my period starts. Is it common to have migraines as part of PMS?
– Alaire*

Yes. Lots of women who have migraines get them as part of their PMS symptoms. Doctors believe that changing hormone levels are to blame for this type of headache, which is known as a menstrual migraine.

There are ways to stop these headaches so you feel better. You could start by taking an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen to see if that works. If you often get headaches a few days before your period, you could try taking the medication for a few days around that time, even if your headaches haven't started yet. Doing this can help you avoid getting a headache.

If this doesn't work for you, or if your headaches are severe enough that you miss school or other activities, talk to your doctor. He or she may recommend a prescription medication, or may refer you to a headache expert.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: October 2010

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* Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

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