Is there a Link between PCOS and Migraines?

Holy Hormones Honey! PCOS and migraines are often caused by estrogen dominance.   Of course women who suffer from one would suffer from another.  And no wonder when one clears up the other does as well.  How many ways can you say hormone imbalance?  Natural progesterone supplementation is often crucial for estrogen dominance.

PCOS & Migraine: A Largely Unexplored Co-morbid Relationship

Migraine.com Blogs
October 30th, 2012 – Posted by Diana Lee

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition occurring in women, which is characterized by a wide ranging set of symptoms, including:

  • infrequent or irregular periods
  • infertility / inability to ovulate (PCOS is the most common cause of infertility)
  • ovarian cysts
  • weight gain
  • thinning hair
  • hair growth on face, chest, stomach, back, etc.
  • depression and/or anxiety
  • acne

By some estimates five million American women are living with PCOS.

Researchers believe PCOS is rooted in hormonal imbalance and insulin resistance. The ovaries of women living with PCOS make more male hormones than those of other women, which affects the ability of the ovaries to release eggs. Many women with PCOS have too much insulin in their bodies because their bodies don’t efficiently use it, which encourages the pancreas to produce more and more to try to meet the body’s needs. Researchers believe it is the presence of this excess insulin that leads to the production of too many male hormones in the bodies of women living with PCOS.

A genetic predisposition for PCOS is likely because women with PCOS are more likely than other women to have a mother or sister who also has PCOS.

We don’t know as much as we’d like about the connection between PCOS and migraine. However, we do know that many people living with migraine also live with insulin resistance.

Despite the fact that almost no research has been done on the connection between PCOS and migraine, if you spend any time on a PCOS message board you’ll quickly see an alarming trend: Many, many women living with PCOS also live with unrelenting migraine attacks. And often when one problem starts to get better, the other does, too.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.