Causes of pain in the head during menstruation

Menstruation is the result of hormonal changes in the structure of the female body. The premenstrual phase and the days of critical discharge should not be accompanied by both headaches and pain syndromes of other localization. Some girls and women notice that they often have a headache during their period.

The presence of unbearable sensations in this cyclic phase is considered a sign of pathology. Severe headaches at the time of the menstrual cycle can occur due to diseases associated with the spine, neuroendocrine, cardiovascular and nervous systems.

What changes occur in the body during menstruation

Every month, the female body prepares itself for a possible conception. Every month, the endometrium grows, and then exfoliates again. Menstruation does not have a therapeutic differentiation, is not a cleansing action in the body system and is not able to remove harmful particles from it, as many people think.

Almost at the end of the cycle, the mucous membrane covering the surface of the uterus from the inside is ready to attach a fertilized cell – a zygote. If fertilization does not happen, the level of estrogen in the blood drops sharply, a whole chain of changes occurs. The mucous membrane disintegrates and exfoliation occurs, as a result of which it is excreted in the blood.

These manifestations do not occur immediately throughout the entire mucous membrane of the organ, but gradually. Leaving blood is a consequence of fragmentary bleeding, which lasts for some time until the particles of cells of the uterine mucosa are completely rejected over the entire surface.

For every woman, the length of menstruation, as well as the abundance of the outgoing blood, is not the same. And the cyclical environment is capable of changing. The duration and abundance of menstruation are closely related to the density of the mucous membrane. The average, normal course of the menstrual cycle is three to five days.

But it is not an anomaly when menstruation lasts more – up to eight days or less – up to two days. The duration may increase due to the use of an intrauterine device, and a decrease in days may occur due to the use of contraceptive pills.

Why does the head hurt if there are no diseases

Experts determine a number of pathological and physiological factors, due to which severe headaches are indicated during the menstrual cycle. To eliminate cephalalgia, they resort to complex therapy. There are many causes of the onset of a headache during menstruation. It can be provoked by an incorrect diet, a characteristic feature of the female physique and even a change in weather.

Sometimes the pain syndrome takes a systematic type, in which monthly pain occurs, which brings tangible discomfort.

In the menstrual cycle, the level of estrogen drops, and the number of progesterones, on the contrary, increases. Because progesterone is a hormone produced during pregnancy, it prepares the body for potential fetal maturation. As a result of the fact that conception is not formed, an increase in the level of progestogenic steroid hormone occurs. These changes also entail excruciating headaches during menstruation.

What pathologies can there be

Several factors are noted as to why, when menstruation occurs, the headache worries women:

  •            vascular disease;
  •            intestinal pathology;
  •            osteochondrosis;
  •            decrease in hemoglobin;
  •            hormonal disruptions.

During menstruation, in addition to cephalalgia of the brain, nausea may occur, flashing flies in the eyes and migraine. The pain syndrome covers most of the head, can be shot in the ears and jaw area.

Unlike traditional localized migraine, migraine during menstruation is accompanied not only by headache, nausea, which can sometimes turn into vomiting, but also by throbbing piercing pains that are not affected by analgesics. The girl can be irritable, hostile, there is a feeling of fatigue, in which she wants to lie down.

This exacerbation can last from ten hours to several days.

Also, migraine during the menstrual period can provoke disturbances in cardiovascular function, such as:

  •            atherosclerosis;
  •            vegetative-vascular dystonia;
  • arterial hypotension;
  • constriction of blood vessels.

The structure of blood vessels is affected by surges in hormones, in addition, during the menstrual phase, the volume of load on the arteries increases. Decreased elasticity of the vascular walls, high blood cholesterol levels – all this interferes with the normal functioning and movement of blood flow.

The blood arteries do not have time to straighten out, pumping blood in a large volume, this is the reason for the appearance of spasms – the rudiment of headaches during menstruation. If oxygen is reduced in the brain, the migraine takes on an antispasmodic character.

Due to the failure of the water-salt balance during the menstrual cycle, edema occurs. Deterioration of water outflow can provoke weight gain – about one and a half kilograms. Swelling occurs on the face, upper and lower extremities, and even in certain areas of the brain. In the head, there are bursting, squeezing pains in the area of ​​the crown, occiput and spreading throughout the entire part of the head.

Also, with menstruation, there is a possibility of severe pain due to the intake of certain drugs, in particular, spasmodic syndromes are observed when taking oral contraceptives. It is noted that a headache with menstruation in most women over the age of forty and girls with vein thrombosis has a headache.

Pain syndrome appears because contraceptive contraceptives entail a deformation of the hormonal background, which interferes with the maturation of the egg. Also, in the female body, the formation of individual hormones is modified, and violations of the vascular function are observed.

When to see a doctor

Severe pains that last more than two days are considered clear signs of a serious pathology. Moreover, these sensations are so unbearable that a woman needs to free herself from all her affairs, remaining at home. When headaches are accompanied by nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, stitching pains in the abdomen, these can be signs of severe blood loss and anemia.

If the taken painkillers do not help and you notice volumetric discharge with cramping pain – these signs may indicate an ectopic pregnancy, an urgent examination by a gynecologist is necessary. Also, if severe pain manifests itself suddenly during menstruation with a violation of the cycle or reduced weight, this indicates signs of a tumor.

For the treatment of intense headache during menstruation, the doctor prescribes low-dose hormonal preparations, medicines containing phytoestrogens, homeopathic remedies, vitamin complexes and physiotherapy methods.

What examinations need to be done

Headaches during the period of critical discharge can occur with a number of gynecological diseases, cycle disorders, cysts, and inflammatory processes in the reproductive organs. The gynecologist will conduct an instrumental examination, write out directions for biochemical analysis and ultrasound examination.

A gynecologist can refer you to a therapist, neuropathologist and endocrinologist for consultation. If the pain syndrome is associated with a change in hormonal levels in a critical period, it is enough to take an analgesic or antispasmodic according to the instructions.

In the case when the cause is another pathology, only a doctor should prescribe medications. A woman experiencing an illness on critical days is required to undergo an examination in order to diagnose pathology and prescribe medical therapy at an early stage.

Tension headache

Tension headache is another common companion of menstruation. It is of medium to low intensity and is usually dull in nature. The woman feels it as a constriction (“a hoop around the head”).

The duration of the pain attacks varies, from half an hour to seven days. There is no vomiting, the woman does not feel sick, but her appetite still decreases. Additional symptoms include phobia and sound phobia.

Formally, the appearance of tension headache is not associated with physiological disorders. Outside of menstruation, it occurs due to prolonged work at the computer. But in this case, it may be due to the nervous tension arising before menstruation. 

Massage is effective for this type of pain.

Vascular headache

Vascular headache occurs in both young girls and middle-aged women. It is localized in the back of the head and is associated with vasospasm.

This type is manifested by sensations of medium intensity, but they are rather difficult to endure.

Antispasmodics like No-shpy help to get rid of its manifestations. Cold compresses can be applied to the forehead to relieve the attack.


Medicines, phytopreparations, lifestyle correction are effective means of combating unpleasant sensations.

Drug treatment

In addition to pain relievers that relieve the symptom, there are a number of drugs that help fight the cause of the headache and relieve the condition during menstruation.


To get rid of headaches, it is not enough to take medications. It is necessary to revise the lifestyle itself so that the body does not react so sharply to menstruation.

Prevent edema

A few days before the onset of menstruation, it is recommended to give up strong coffee and tea. Fluid intake should be limited – you can drink up to 1.5 liters per day.

To avoid edema, it is necessary to keep the amount of salt in the diet to a minimum.


Good rest is important to prevent headaches. You need to ensure yourself a healthy sleep. It is necessary to go to bed before 23:00, since it is during this period that hormones are actively produced. If a woman falls asleep later, then the processes of neuroendocrine regulation are disrupted in the body.  

It is necessary to be in the fresh air more often, to limit heavy physical activity. In the morning and in the evening, it is recommended to take a contrast shower that is beneficial for blood vessels, completing the procedure with cool water.

A hot bath and a bath are contraindicated during this period. The high temperature will provoke severe headaches.

Well, now let’s figure out in more detail why the head hurts during menstruation and how it occurs. With menstruation , the amount of testosterone in the blood often increases, which leads to an increase in hormonal levels and a deterioration in overall well-being. All this negatively affects the functional ability of the cerebral vessels and leads to the appearance of pain in the head. In parallel with this, a violation of the water-salt balance occurs as a result of the process of cell rejection during menstruation and the appearance of bloody discharge. At this point, the body has already accumulated an excess amount of fluid, which causes swelling of the brain tissue and the appearance of pain in the head during menstruation. The pain can be pulsating in nature, it is most often localized in the temples, the back of the head and the frontal part of the head. In parallel with this, tachycardia and changes in blood pressure can be observed. Factors contributing to the onset of headache               

Problems with the state of blood vessels Discomfort can appear due to dysfunction of blood vessels. Thanks to menstruation, there is a kind of cleansing of the body and elimination of toxins, some of which enter the bloodstream. That is why, when conducting blood tests, signs of an inflammatory process in the body may be observed. However, after the end of menstruation, all indicators return to normal. If spasmodic processes occur in the vessels, this becomes the reason that oxygen cannot enter the organs and tissues, and this causes pain in the head. In this case, you can alleviate your condition by drinking coffee. Problems with the functioning of the digestive tract The cause of a headache may be improper bowel function . As already noted, the body is cleansed during this period and tries to redirect toxic substances from the bloodstream to the intestines. After that, the toxins are converted into feces and excreted from the body. In the presence of problems, the intestine loses its ability to remove toxins, and they begin to be absorbed into organs and tissues. As a result, the body is poisoned, headaches and vomiting. Osteochondrosis Quite often, a headache occurs during menstruation, if a person has cervical osteochondrosis. This is explained by the fact that it is he who is accompanied by the formation of salt deposits, which press on the vessels and nerve tissues. During menstruation, the body needs more oxygen, and as a result of the fact that the vessels are narrowed, very little gets to the organs and tissues, and therefore a headache occurs. To alleviate the condition, you can massage the cervical spine. Anemia As a result of the fact that menstruation is accompanied by loss of blood in the body, the number of red blood cells decreases and hemoglobin decreases. The functional tasks of erythrocytes is the transportation of oxygen to the organs and systems of the body, and since there are fewer of them, the body does not receive the required amount. That is why there is a feeling of pain in the head already on the first day of the cycle. Violation of the hormonal background The body reacts to the restructuring of the hormonal plan with painful sensations in the head, most often a similar situation develops in women after reaching forty years. The changes lead to an increase in pressure and an increase in fluid in the body, as a result, edematous processes and hypertension can form. To eliminate these symptoms and reduce the risk of headache formation, it is necessary to take drugs with a diuretic effect. Menstrual pain in the head area can also occur as a result of the use of birth control pills or the negative effects of stressful situations for a long time.                              

During menstruation, dizziness may also develop, it appears as a result of vasospasm. Along with this, the following symptoms can be observed: pain in the head region, which is of a pulsating nature and is localized in the frontal and temporal regions; phobias, especially light and noise stimuli; hypotension or hypertension; a feeling of pressure on the eyeballs; arrhythmia; nausea and vomiting; pain in the abdomen; violation of the digestive process. When a feeling of general weakness and pain in the head appears , it is necessary, first of all, to measure blood pressure, because this can be a symptom of hypotension or hypertension, and the tactics of treatment (elimination of pathological symptoms) will depend on this . Healing activities       

In some cases, dizziness and headache will require the mandatory consultation of a doctor, who, after examinations, if necessary, will prescribe an adequate treatment regimen. Most often, it is recommended to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which are endowed with the ability to eliminate the manifestations of the inflammatory process and pain. As for hormonal agents, they are able to normalize the functioning of the glands. Additionally, vitamin and mineral complexes can be prescribed . It is imperative to pay attention to your lifestyle and nutrition, because this can also cause a headache. It is recommended to give up bad habits and engage in moderate physical activity on a regular basis. Treatment with drugs The following drugs will successfully cope with pain in the head before and during menstruation : Aspirin; Nurofen; No-shpa; Keterol. When dizziness appears, special attention should be paid to the mode of work and rest, you need to try to be in the fresh air as much as possible. You need to be especially careful when taking medications, their appointment should be carried out only by a doctor. In some cases, it may be recommended to take hormonal medications made on the basis of estrogen, an insufficient amount of which in the body can cause dizziness during menstruation. The use of pain relievers and sedatives may be recommended. They are endowed with the ability to eliminate vasospasm, reducing the intensity of pain. Treatment with means from folk sources It is necessary to focus on the fact that the headache before menstruation disappears with the regular use of decoctions and infusions prepared on the basis of medicinal herbs. These can be: bear ears; horsetail; nettle. An infusion of oregano is considered a fairly effective remedy. To prepare it, you need to pour boiling water over the herb of the plant and leave it for 30 minutes. You can drink the prepared medicines several times a day, half an hour before meals. An infusion prepared on the basis of raspberries, tea with chamomile or mint perfectly eliminates the manifestations of pain . Additionally, these natural medicines have a calming effect. Reviews of women testify to the distinctive properties of tea with ginger and honey. However, it must be remembered that it is forbidden to drink it for people with a history of diseases of the genitourinary system. Please note, in any case, before taking medicines, traditional or from folk sources, you must consult your doctor. Prevention It’s not a secret for anyone that it is easier to prevent a disease or a pathological symptom than to cure it. So , first of all, women need to keep a special small calendar and mark the days of menstruation. This will allow you to determine the period when exactly you need to start taking medications. As a preventive measure, you can drink a vitamin broth. To prepare it, you need to take lemon balm, linden, chamomile, plantain and yarrow in equal amounts and pour boiling water. Then leave for 2 hours and drain. The use of such a drink prevents the appearance of pathological symptoms and malaise. In addition, the vitamin broth has a calming effect and saturates the body with vitamins. You need to start taking the broth from the first day of menstruation, the daily dose is several glasses of broth. Now you know what causes can lead to headaches during menstruation and what needs to be done at the same time. Summing up, it should be noted that headache is considered a rather unpleasant phenomenon. It is necessary to start treatment on time, because this will not only eliminate its manifestations, but also prevent it.

local_offerevent_note December 4, 2020

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