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Neurol Sci. 2017 May;38(Suppl 1):85-89. doi: 10.1007/s10072-017-2906-9.

Treating migraine with contraceptives.

Author information

1
Department of Surgical Sciences, Women's Headache Center, University of Turin, Via Ventimiglia 3, 10126, Turin, Italy. gb.allais@tiscali.it.
2
Department of Surgical Sciences, Women's Headache Center, University of Turin, Via Ventimiglia 3, 10126, Turin, Italy.

Abstract

At least 18% of women suffers from migraine. Clinically, there are two main forms of migraine: migraine with aura (MA) and migraine without aura (MO) and more than 50% of MO is strongly correlated to the menstrual cycle. The high prevalence of migraine in females, its correlation with the menstrual cycle and with the use of combined hormonal contraceptives (CHCs) suggest that the estrogen drop is implicated in the pathogenesis of the attacks. Although CHCs may trigger or worsen migraine, their correct use may even prevent or reduce some forms of migraine, like estrogen withdrawal headache. Evidence suggested that stable estrogen levels have a positive effect, minimising or eliminating the estrogenic drop. Several contraceptive strategies may act in this way: extended-cycle CHCs, CHCs with shortened hormone-free interval (HFI), progestogen-only contraceptives, CHCs containing new generation estrogens and estrogen supplementation during the HFI.

KEYWORDS:

Combined hormonal contraceptives; Extended regimen contraceptives; Hormone-free interval; Migraine; Progestogen-only contraceptives

PMID:
28527064
DOI:
10.1007/s10072-017-2906-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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