Getting a headache is bad enough, but if you get one in the time leading up to your period—or during menstruation—you know it can be especially killer. The truth is, headaches can be a very common side effect of all the hormonal shifts going on in your body—60-70% of women who have migraines report that their headaches have some relationship with their period. What’s a girl to do?
Actually, there are plenty of ways to fight back against that period headache! Here are five to get you started:
- Figure out why. Even something as simple as keeping a journal of when your headaches occur and how they affect you can help you find patterns and figure out what sorts of behavior are triggering the period headaches. Other side effects like acne, fatigue, soreness, decreased urination, and lack of coordination set period headaches apart from the usual kind, so keep an eye on those symptoms.
- Lower your stress level. Obviously being stressed out is a bad thing, but at certain times of the month, stress can actually increase your chances of getting a period headache. Be sure to have a few go-to tricks in your bag for dealing with stress, such as yoga, deep breathing, meditation, and aerobic exercise.
- Get enough sleep. Drastic chances in your sleep patterns—or just not getting enough sleep, full stop—can lead to period headaches. Do yourself a favor and get those zzz’s to help your body handle hormone fluctuations.
- Eat regular meals. Do you usually skip breakfast? Sometimes miss out on lunch? Load up on treats like red wine, coffee, and chocolate? All of these things can cause period headaches, so do your best to keep your food intake regular and healthy, especially during menstruation.
- Talk to your doctor. Maybe it’s time to reevaluate the type of birth control you take or to consider an herbal supplement. If you’ve made general lifestyle changes and still have trouble with period headaches, you should definitely talk to a professional!
Don’t let period headaches interrupt your life! You can do small, simple things to feel better and prevent those symptoms from bringing you down next time!