Although the symptoms are generally the same, migraine headaches come in different types. For women, migraines are generally related to the fluctuations in hormones from menopause and menstruation. Perimenopausal and menopausal women are likely to experience migraine headaches when hormone levels fluctuate, but there are other menopause symptoms that will cause migraine headaches. There are psychological and physical aspects that also affect incidences of migraines.
Psychological influences include emotional fluctuations (like mood swings), anxiety, and stress. These specific influences are a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain and need to be addressed quickly. The chemical imbalances are what trigger the migraines.
Physical influences are more along the lines of medication responses or side effects, injuries or physical trauma, and hormone fluctuations. These influences are more likely to be the result of going through menopause. The medications that are used to alleviate some symptoms of menopause can cause migraine headaches, especially with estrogen supplements. Fluctuating estrogen levels are one of the main causes of migraine headaches in women who are going through menopause.
You can have menopausal migraine headaches with or without the aura experience. Aura is a symptom of migraines and is related to the eyes and disturbances that you can experience. Migraines with aura will often cause visual distortion, like loss of vision and flashes, and pressure or pain around the eyes. Migraines without aura will present with tenderness of the scalp, unusual sensations or tingling of the face and head.
Treatments for menopausal migraines are similar to those for other migraines. While most typical migraine treatments will be effective, sometimes there will need to be other adjustments necessary. For example, if your doctor determines that your estrogen replacement therapy is indeed the cause, you may need a lower dose.