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19 November 2006

pushing the menstrual migraine out of the picture

In late October, I had my regular checkup with my neurologist. I let him, as well as the nurse practitioner, know how horrifically painful my menstrual Migraine had become. The night before my period comes, the pain sets in behind my eyes, following a brief aura marked by blurry vision and eye twitching. It's a Migraine, all right, but its pain is different somehow, different from the other Migraines I get the rest of the month. I get it in the evening and, sure enough, my period's there the next morning.

Six days later, the pain will start to recede. Hundreds of dollars in medication later, I start to function moderately normally again.

As I've probably said before, I can't do what a lot of women who have menstrual problems do: because I have Migraine with aura, it's dangerous for me to take the combination pill (birth control), which could help lighten my periods and therefore lessen the pain. So I have to muster through it, right?

Wrong. There are options. And my doctor presented one to me.

I'm at the end of my cycle now, and I've not had the menstrual Migraine that's plagued me for at least a decade. I can't believe how great I feel. Starting two days before my menstrual headache begins, I take Frova once a day; twice a day I take Naproxen. Now that my period's gone, I can stop the regimen and not take these drugs again until my next period.

I can't believe the menstrual Migraine's not here. Something I saw as an inescapable reality has been, for at least this month, escaped.

3 comments:

Frances S. said...

I thought you might be interested to know that when I was talking with my neurolgist recently he mentioned a similar course to treat menstrual migraines. He has discovered that once you can stop the migraine for a couple of months, often it won't reappear- even without the preventative treatment. His reccomendations for preventing the migraine were to either follow the course you wrote about (adding some magnesium to compensate for something in the Naproxen Sodium) or to take the Pill that creates only 4 periods a year. He said that many women he treated had successfully stopped menstrual migraines and had years of no monthly preventative treatment and no monthly migraine. I thought this might be encouraging to you.
- Frances S. (another severe migraine sufferer in her early 20s)

linda said...

Another blogger sent me this link. I am SO GLAD you have found something that works for you! Migraines really stink!

Myth_1977 said...

For the extremely brutal stretch of menstrual migraines I take a rapid release anti-inflammatory and a water pill; one to get rid of the severe craps and the other to dimish the PMS sysmtoms... in hopes that by doing so they are less likely to trigger a migraine. My migraines still hit around that time like clockwork, but are not as severe. And of course the other PMS related symptoms are quite diminished.

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