Objective: To document the frequency and
types of symptoms of migraine in a large group of female migraineurs
in tertiary care.
Background: Hormonal changes remain a significant
accompaniment in the life cycle of the female migraineur. Little
is documented on the relationship of women’s issues to other features
of migraine or to the lives of patients with migraine. Successful
management of migraine mandates attention to women’s issues from
menarche to beyond menopause. The more information available to
this end, the more confidently the clinician can prognosticate,
guide, and treat the female patient.
Methods: Women’s issues were evaluated in 504 women
with migraine diagnosed according to the criteria of the International
Headache Society. The variables graded on a scale of 0 to 3 at
the initial visit included premenstrual syndrome, menopausal
symptoms, use of birth control pills, use of hormone replacement
therapy, hormonal triggering of headaches, worsening of headaches
with birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, headaches
with menses only, headaches with menses and at other times, headaches
in pregnancy, headaches unchanged in pregnancy, headaches worse in
pregnancy, and headaches better in pregnancy. These variables
were stratified by age and headache diagnosis.
Conclusions: This study provides a documentation of
women’s issues in a large cohort of patients. Stratification by
headache type, presence of aura, and age refine the study.