Posted by: At a loss, pls help | 2008/10/23

Hormones and headaches

Hi Doc,

I howp you can help me, i' ve posted my problem to the GyneaDoc too, but by the looks of the other people asking questions, the gyneadoc no longer replies.

i have been gettign headaches since i was 18, i' m now 24.
Up until now they have had no pattern or distinct trigger. ( i have tried to look for food sources, stress, and other triggers)
I have tried physio, and acunpuncture, neither of which made a significant difference. My physio tells me i should see a neurosurgeon.

the last time i was at my Gynea, we decided to stop my pill, and see what happened. Since I' ve stopped (3 months ago) there seems to be a pattern, it is linked to my ovulation and menstruation cycles. But there is no pettern as to when during the course of the day it will come and only an Ibropufen tablet relieves it, nothing else works.

They can just be mild aches, or they can be bordering on migraines.
I am reluctant to try the neurosurgeon route as it is a. expensive and b. i have now found a link to my hormones and don' t think they can help me with that.

Is it worth going back to the gynea, do you think they could help me?

please suggest something.
I' m lost, and as i sit here I have a splitting headache, that needs a tablet asap.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear At a loss,

The fact that a neurosurgeon may be expensive is not really the issue – what is important is that it is highly unlikely that you have a neurosurgical problem.

If you have a regular cycle, then it means that your hormone levels are normal. Headaches related to changes in hormone levels usually indicate that the body is responding in an abnormal way to the normal hormone fluctuations that occur during the menstrual cycle.

The best approach to dealing with the problem is to diagnose why your body is reacting abnormally to your normal hormone fluctuations. It is important to remember that the change in hormone levels is only a trigger, not the underlying cause of the pain. To find out why your body reacts in this way, you need what is called a “multidisciplinary” approach. This must include an assessment of the tension in the head and neck muscles. There are so many different structures in the head and neck are, all of which can be involved in the headache process, that no single specialist can have all the knowledge necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and diagnosis. For this reason, you need the combined the expertise of different specialists who would normally treat headache patients in isolation, into a single more comprehensive body of knowledge. This enables us to provide a co-ordinated treatment plan, so that all the contributing factors are addressed.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic (Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg) on 0861 678 911.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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