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Clinical features of migraine with onset prior to or during start of combined hormonal contraception: a prospective cohort study


Merki-Feld, Gabriele S; Sandor, Peter S; Nappi, Rossella E; Pohl, Heiko; Schankin, Christoph (2022). Clinical features of migraine with onset prior to or during start of combined hormonal contraception: a prospective cohort study. Acta Neurologica Belgica, 122(2):401-409.

Abstract

Many studies have described the features of menstrually related migraines but there is a lack of knowledge regarding the features of migraine in combined hormonal contraceptive users (CHC). Hormone-withdrawal migraines in the pill-free period could differ from those in the natural cycle. Gynaecologic comorbidities, like dysmenorrhea and endometriosis, but also depression or a family history might modify the course of migraine. A better understanding of migraine features linked to special hormonal situations could improve treatment. For this prospective cohort study, we conducted telephone interviews with women using a CHC and reporting withdrawal migraine to collect information on migraine frequency, intensity, triggers, symptoms, pain medication, gynaecologic history and comorbidities (n = 48). A subset of women agreed to also document their migraines in prospective diaries. The mean number of migraine days per cycle was 4.2 (± 2.7). Around 50% of these migraines occurred during the hormone-free interval. Migraine frequency was significantly higher in women who suffered from migraine before CHC start (5.0 ± 3.1) (n = 22) in comparison to those with migraine onset after CHC start (3.5 ± 2.1) (n = 26). Menstrually related attacks were described as more painful (57.5%), especially in women with migraine onset before CHC use (72%) (p < 0.02). Comorbidities were rare, except dysmenorrhea. The majority of migraine attacks in CHC users occur during the hormone-free interval. Similar as in the natural cycle, hormone-withdrawal migraines in CHC users are very intense and the response to acute medication is less good, especially in those women, who developed migraine before CHC use.

Abstract

Many studies have described the features of menstrually related migraines but there is a lack of knowledge regarding the features of migraine in combined hormonal contraceptive users (CHC). Hormone-withdrawal migraines in the pill-free period could differ from those in the natural cycle. Gynaecologic comorbidities, like dysmenorrhea and endometriosis, but also depression or a family history might modify the course of migraine. A better understanding of migraine features linked to special hormonal situations could improve treatment. For this prospective cohort study, we conducted telephone interviews with women using a CHC and reporting withdrawal migraine to collect information on migraine frequency, intensity, triggers, symptoms, pain medication, gynaecologic history and comorbidities (n = 48). A subset of women agreed to also document their migraines in prospective diaries. The mean number of migraine days per cycle was 4.2 (± 2.7). Around 50% of these migraines occurred during the hormone-free interval. Migraine frequency was significantly higher in women who suffered from migraine before CHC start (5.0 ± 3.1) (n = 22) in comparison to those with migraine onset after CHC start (3.5 ± 2.1) (n = 26). Menstrually related attacks were described as more painful (57.5%), especially in women with migraine onset before CHC use (72%) (p < 0.02). Comorbidities were rare, except dysmenorrhea. The majority of migraine attacks in CHC users occur during the hormone-free interval. Similar as in the natural cycle, hormone-withdrawal migraines in CHC users are very intense and the response to acute medication is less good, especially in those women, who developed migraine before CHC use.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neurology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Reproductive Endocrinology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Neurology (clinical)
Language:English
Date:1 April 2022
Deposited On:03 Dec 2021 07:25
Last Modified:26 Apr 2024 01:36
Publisher:Acta Medica Belgica
ISSN:0300-9009
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s13760-021-01677-3
PubMed ID:33928470
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)