Migraine: Men vs Women

Around the time of a girl’s first menstruation, there is a rapid rise in the incidence of migraine for this gender. The ratio of 3:1 (female migraineurs to male) reflects this trend.  In women, the incidence of migraine with aura peaks between ages 12 and 13 and migraine without aura between ages 14 and 17.

Oestrogen levels are a key factor in the increased prevalence of migraine in women. Evidence for this includes the following:

  • Migraine prevalence increases at the time of first menstruation
  • Oestrogen withdrawal during menstruation is a common migraine trigger factor
  • Oestrogen in oral contraceptives and HRT can trigger migraines
  • Migraine typically decreases during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy when oestrogen levels are high
  • Migraine is common immediately after the birth as oestrogen levels fall
  • Migraine generally improves with the onset of menopause

Migraine: Men vs Women

Around the time of a girl’s first menstruation, there is a rapid rise in the incidence of migraine for this gender. The ratio of 3:1 (female migraineurs to male) reflects this trend.  In women, the incidence of migraine with aura peaks between ages 12 and 13 and migraine without aura between ages 14 and 17.

Oestrogen levels are a key factor in the increased prevalence of migraine in women. Evidence for this includes the following:

  • Migraine prevalence increases at the time of first menstruation
  • Oestrogen withdrawal during menstruation is a common migraine trigger factor
  • Oestrogen in oral contraceptives and HRT can trigger migraines
  • Migraine typically decreases during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy when oestrogen levels are high
  • Migraine is common immediately after the birth as oestrogen levels fall
  • Migraine generally improves with the onset of menopause