Author: Dr Vanessa Doyle and Dr Suzanne Christie

Menopause marks the time when your periods actually stop and on average occurs between age 50-52 years, but may occur between age 40-60. During the peri-menopausal years leading up to menopause, when a woman’s periods are often irregular, migraines can fluctuate as a result of fluctuating hormone levels.


Some studies have shown that up to 45% of women will experience a worsening if migraines, 30-45% show no difference, and 15% actually notice an improvement. Improvement is more commonly seen in women who suffer from menstrual migraines or menstrually related migraines.

Sometimes, cyclical migraines continue, even after menopause. The reason for this is unclear however, the hormonal cycle can continue on for years after menopause, and this may be the cause.

Menopause can be a difficult time for women, having to deal with all of the symptoms of estrogen decline, including hot flushes, night sweats and sleep disturbance, which all can add to your stress levels, affecting your migraines.

If your headaches are becoming difficult to manage and they are causing significant stress, talk to your doctor about the possibility of starting hormone replacement therapy (HRT). You doctor can discuss the risks and benefits of HRT for you.