Report: Let’s Find Out Why Women Get Migraines More

Report: Let’s Find Out Why Women Get Migraines More

By Ed Coghlan.

If you are a woman, you’re three times more likely to get a migraine than a man.

And researchers need to examine and address how the disease differs between women and men.

That’s the essence of a report from the Society for Women’s Research published in the August issue of the Journal of Women’s Health.

The Society for Women’s Health Research is a national nonprofit dedicated to promoting research on biological differences in disease and improving women’s health through science, policy, and education.

Women in their thirties are more likely to experience longer and more intense migraine attacks and report more migraine-associated symptoms and comorbid conditions at a time when many women are balancing work, family, and social obligations. Migraine costs the U.S. an estimated $78 billion per year, with women accounting for about 80 percent of direct medical and lost labor costs.

SWHR’s report summarizes current research on sex and gender differences in migraine based on a roundtable discussion hosted by SWHR with expert researchers, clinicians, and patients. The review outlines growing evidence that sex influences migraine risk, presentation, diagnosis, treatment, and management.

For example, sex hormones like estrogen play a large role in the development of migraine and are likely contributors to observed sex differences in the disease, but a better understanding of these differences and the mechanisms behind them will lead to more targeted, effective treatments.

In addition, women and men seek and receive treatment for migraine differently, with women more likely to consult a health care provider. This could be because women typically experience worse symptoms or because the feminization of the migraine makes men hesitant to seek help. Recognizing these gender differences can help overcome patient and provider bias in the diagnosis and treatment of migraine.

Despite the clear differences in migraine between women and men, research exploring these differences has been limited. “To move migraine research forward more quickly and to greatly improve the lives of patients, sex and gender differences in migraine need to be taken into account across the entire health care spectrum — by researchers, clinicians, patients, policymakers, and other health care decision-makers,” said Rebecca Nebel, PhD, SWHR’s director of scientific programs and senior author on the paper.

Until earlier this year, no treatments designed specifically to prevent migraine had come onto the market in more than 50 years. To promote advancement in migraine research and patient care, SWHR’s report identifies gaps in knowledge and prioritizes areas that warrant further attention in order to improve health outcomes for both women and men. Priority areas include:

·         Broadening clinical studies, including incorporating sex differences in study design and analysis, and conducting longitudinal studies on hormones

·         Increasing awareness of migraine to better identify and treat the disease

·         Enhancing quality-of-life measures by improving assessment of disability and understanding of migraine’s impact on workplace productivity

·         Destigmatizing migraine to increase rates of those seeking and continuing care

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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I have almost cured my migraines using an estrogen cream on the back of my neck at the first sign of trouble. I discovered this fix incidentally after my hysterectomy, the doctors prescribed too low a dose estrogen patch so I supplemented with a compounded cream and voila, 20 years of migraine suffering over

I was able to stop the botox and migraine pills it has been a miracle for me.


Topamax (topiramate) has completely eliminated my migraines for the last 15 years once I could no longer take sumotryptans because of blood clotting risks. I sure hope everyone afflicted with migraines has tried both these medications. With topomax you need to be careful of kidney stones so get the dose as low as possible to be effective.



Anthony Harding

Not hard to really understand, it’s a little thing called estrogen. Can I have a billion for my correct answer? Since they will waste billions in research on it when they already know the answer. Look at the structure of the estrogen molecule and you will see the answer more clearly. Even tho we are alike in many ways we are also different in the way of different chemicals that each sex has. I can go more into detail but it would be a very long post and answer.

This is something I don’t suffer with him anymore, thank the Good Lord above! Back when I was 28 years old, I begin to experience them something awful. I lived about 2 miles from the hospital and would wake my friend up in the middle of the night who lived a couple of doors down, screaming what now seems like bloody murder. He would drive me knowing my head was killing me. I thought I was dying the first time. I didn’t know what on earth to think had happened. They always put me in a small dark room and would let me continue to scream in pain for 30 minutes. After that they would always come in and give me a shot. It knocked me out and I would sleep for the next 2 hours in the little room with my friend waiting for me to wake up. Then they would let me go home. They said my friend had to drive. It was all I could do to walk after that shot so of coarse he had to drive. The next day I would feel like I had been run over by a freight train. I managed a 68 unit apartment complex and lived on site. The second time it happened I remembered walking from my apartment to my office and the owner coming and telling me he didn’t know what was wrong but I could go back home and go to bed. Thankfully with his permission, I did just that. By the next morning I would be fine. I have thick naturally curly hair, back then it was very long, down to my waist. I never thought anything of it but 6 months later, I had my hair trimmed about 6-inchs. I never had another migraine again. After reading the other days report and this morning’s, I had to comment.