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Hormonal Headache

About Hormonal Headache

What Is A Hormonal Headache?

Predominantly a condition affecting women,  these headaches usually come on just before or during a cycle and/or during ovulation. These can present as a typical tension-type headache but can also present as traditional migraine with one-sided severe pulsating head pain.

During a women’s cycle at Day 1, there is a large drop in oestrogen levels which in turn leads to a drop in serotonin levels in the brain. This drop in serotonin levels is said to be the trigger for hormonal headache.

Hormonal Headache Diagnosis

How Do We Diagnose A Hormonal Headache?

There is a debate whether hormonal headache is a separate migraine-type or whether hormonal change is just a trigger. Nevertheless, hormonal headache begins at -2 to +3 days of menstruation and occur at least 2 out of every 3 cycles. Pure hormonal headache only occurs during a cycle while menstrual-related migraine happens during menstruation and additionally at other times of the cycle. Clinical experience has shown that ovulation will quite often trigger an episode which is milder and shorter in duration.

Hormonal Headache Symptoms


Usually lasting three days

Moderate to sever throbbing or pulsating-like pain


Nausea and vomiting

Increased Sensitivity

Increased sensitivity to light, sound and smell

Treating Hormonal Headaches With The Watson Headache® Approach

Hormonal Headache Treatment

As hormonal changes are difficult to stop or change, treatment to desensitise (or settle) the brainstem has proved an effective way to manage Hormonal Headache. With a more settled nervous system, the body will be less reactive to triggers such as hormonal changes. This can be achieved by a skilled practitioner using the Watson Headache® Approach, which can significantly reduce the burden of these headaches/migraines.

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