Do you find that you frequently get a migraine headache a day or two before you get your period? My youngest daughter who is 17 does on a monthly basis and upon investigating this I discovered that this is quite common and they are called menstrual migraines. Menstrual migraines are a result of plunging oestrogen levels which occurs routinely a few days before the onset of menstruation.
There are a variety of ways to treat menstrual headaches and these include:
- Lavender Oil - You can rub a little on your temples, behind your ears, on the back of your neck and pulse points. You can also put a few drops in boiling water and inhale deeply. I can't stress giving this a try. The very first time I tried lavender oil I was working in an office and pregnant with my second child and refused to take any medication for safety concerns of my unborn son. One of my co-workers noticed I was not my usual chipper self and after asking me what was wrong, she opened a little vial she had on a cord around her neck and offered it to me claiming it was lavender oil and would help. I did as she suggested and within minutes, literally, my headache had disappeared.
- Peppermint Oil - Can be used in the same manner as lavender oil.
- Avoidance of triggers including caffeine, MSG, nitrates, alcohol, dairy and chocolate. Again, this should be done before your migraines generally appear to thwart them altogether.
- Rest - 8 hours is still the recommended nightly need for most adults so if you're skipping a few hours it is wise to reconsider your schedule.
- Relaxation - Unplug, surround yourself with pleasing sights and sounds, put on some relaxing music or enjoy a steamy bubble bath. Try gentle yoga or a leisurely stroll around the neighbourhood, read an engrossing novel; anything that helps you unwind from a stressful day and reduce the amount of tension you are carrying.
- Massage therapy - a nice scalp and head massage can work wonders to alleviate the pain of a migraine. Some sample techniques of how best to do this can be found here.
- Ibuprofen - as found in Advil. Often a doctor will advise taking these a day or two before the headaches occur, so 3 or 4 days before your period if you get the headache a day or two before your period.
- Naproxen - as found in Aleve and Naprosyn, again taken a day or two before headaches generally appear.
As always, I am a huge proponent of charting not only your cycle, but your physical and emotional mood on a daily basis to decipher any patterns that may be happening. Doing so you will be prepared for what routinely happens to you and can prepare accordingly.
You can use any period tracking or calendar app for this, or simply use a journal or our moon and blood chart you can access for free here.