Headaches due to Hormonal Imbalance

Headaches related to hormonal imbalances can be caused by fluctuations in the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body. These fluctuations can occur due to a variety of reasons, including the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause, and certain medical conditions. During the menstrual cycle, headaches can be caused by the drop in estrogen levels that occurs just before menstruation. These headaches are often referred to as menstrual migraines and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, and sensitivity to light and sound.

The hormones estrogen and progesterone plays key roles in regulating the menstrual cycle and pregnancy, and can also affect headache-related chemicals in the brain. If there is a sudden change in estrogen level it may lead to severe headaches.

Certain medical conditions can also cause hormonal imbalances that lead to headaches. These include polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid disorders, and pituitary gland tumors.

Menopause headaches are hormonally induced headaches experienced when entering menopause. Menopause is the phase of life where middle-aged women start to lose their fertility. These headaches are associated with the increase and decrease in hormone levels.

Headaches during menopause can be of three forms
• migraines
• tension headaches
• sinus headaches
The most intense are migraines that typically cause pulsating pain on one side of the head and sometimes are accompanied by nausea. Tension headaches due to stress and sinus headaches are caused by inflammation or congestion

During perimenopause, most women experience more recurrent and intense headaches. This is particularly for those who have experienced hormone-related headaches during their menstrual cycle. Hormonal changes during menopause can cause headaches, as well as other symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats.

During menopause, the production of estrogen and progesterone hormones fluctuates and gradually declines until the female body stops producing them. These changes affect the contraction and expansion of blood vessels and result in pressure fluctuations which result in headaches.


  • Therapeutic lifestyle measures such as proper sleep, healthy nutrition, regular exercise, and managing migraine triggers, and most commonly, hormones.
  • Managing menstrual-related headaches starts with identifying where the headache aligns with the menstrual cycle. If already on oral contraceptive pills, the headache may be prevented by altering the current hormone regimen by reducing the estrogen dose to limit the premenstrual decline in estrogen that precipitates the MRH.
  • Avoiding chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, and dairy products gives relief to menopause-related headaches
  • Maintaining body fitness can reduce the menopause headaches
  • Sometimes insufficient water intake also leads to headaches. So one should stay hydrated
  • applying a cold or warm compress to the area
  • taking a warm bath to release muscle tension
  • doing mild exercises
  • resting in a dark area

It’s important to consult a healthcare provider if you experience headaches that seem to be related to hormonal imbalances. The healthcare provider can help determine the underlying cause of the headaches and develop an appropriate treatment plan.


  1. Naveed, Dr.Safila & Hameed, Asra. (2015). Hormonal imbalance and its causes in young females. Journal of Innovations in Pharmaceuticals and Biological Sciences. 2. 12-16.
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-daily-headaches/in-depth/headaches/art-20046729
  3. Menstrual Related Headache Gregory Moy; Vikas Gupta. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557451/
  4. Headache During Pregnancy: By trimester and remedies https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/headache-during-pregnancy
  5. Headache During Pregnancy What you need to know https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/headache-during-pregnancy
  6. Menopause Headaches Causes and Treatments https://www.belmarrahealth.com/menopause-headache-causes-treatment/

Written by Sowmya R 

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