Differences Between Perimenstrual Migraine Attacks and Migraine Attacks at Other Times of the Cycle

Menstrual migraine is an important condition in which women experience regular migraine around the time of their period. This is defined as migraine attacks that occur within a 5-day window starting 2 days before the first day of menstruation through to the third day of bleeding.1 Recognizing menstrual migraine is important for management. Research has shown that migraine attacks that happen near the menstrual period are more severe, last longer, and are less responsive to treatment than attacks that happen at other times.2 Little is known about whether perimenstrual migraine attacks are more troublesome for women who have not received a specific diagnosis of menstrual migraine. The study by van Casteren et al.3 compared perimenstrual migraine attacks with migraine attacks occurring at other times of the cycle. This study examines whether differences between perimenstrual and nonperimenstrual attacks exist in women with and without a specific diagnosis of menstrual migraine.

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