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Headache Symptoms

Similar to other symptoms, it is important to identify if headache symptoms are related to changes in sex hormones by tracking to see if there is a pattern when you experience this.

What phase of your menstrual cycle do you experience headaches?

A drop in estrogen can cause headaches, which occurs around ovulation and also before your period. 

Premenstrual migraines regularly occur during or after the time when the hormones, estrogen and progesterone, drop to their lowest levels.

Headaches are also commonly experienced in combined oral contraceptive users, due to the withdraw from synthetic estradiol in the 7-day break. 

Causes of headaches during your menstrual cycle

A drop in estrogen can cause headaches, which occurs around ovulation and also before your period. 

Premenstrual migraines regularly occur during or after the time when the hormones, estrogen and progesterone, drop to their lowest levels.

Headaches are also commonly experienced in combined oral contraceptive users, due to the withdraw from synthetic estradiol in the 7-day break. 

How to manage headaches

Track your cycle to check the timings of your headaches and if a pattern occurs across 3 cycles.

Check in on your hydration (2-2.5l per day) – Monitor the colour of your urine to check you are getting enough fluid. You can use a urine color chart  from the NHS website to work out if you are hydrated enough. 

Tight muscles and tension can cause headaches. Consider yoga or mindfulness to help your body relax. There are several freely accessible yoga and mindfulness videos online or check out your local leisure centre for yoga classes!

Have strategies in place to reduce stress this might include exercise, meditation/yoga, reading a book, socialising or having a hot bath. Stress management varies between individuals and at different times.

Pain relief such as Ibuprofen (if no underlying medical condition) for simple headaches. For migraines ibuprofen may help but you may need to discuss acute treatment with your doctor.

Have a regular sleep pattern, and avoid too much or too little sleep. Insomnia usually gets better by changing your sleeping habits.

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At Optimal Period we believe everyone has their own unique experience of the menstrual cycle and related symptoms. Therefore, we support you to map your own menstrual cycle, identifying what symptoms you experience and at what time of your menstrual cycle. Download our menstrual phase graph, watch our video to get started mapping your own cycle and make some immediate changes today!

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