According to the Migraine Research Foundation migraines are the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world and the 6th most disabling illness world-wide. Approximately 18% of American women (about 28 Million) suffer with migraines. Half of these women have at least one attack per month and 25% experience 4 or more severe episodes monthly. Migraines accompanied with an aura (visual disturbances including blurred vision, double vision, poor vision, sensitivity to light and smell) have a higher risk of stroke than women with migraines without an aura. Trigger causing factors include foods such as red wine, chocolate, citrus fruits and aged cheeses due to their amine content. Other food triggers include processed meats, caffeine, the flavor enhancer, MSG and other preservatives, coloring agents and additives. There are also emotional and muscular triggers of migraines. Postural changes may also precipitate a migraine. Too much or too little sleep, changes in humidity, dehydration and excessive alcohol consumption have all been found to trigger migraines.
Menstrual changes due to fluctuating estrogen levels and pregnancy may trigger migraines. We are often asked if migraines and infertility medications are connected. The answer is, all infertility medications can increase the risk of migraines. These medications include Clomiphene citrate, Letrezole, Lupron, FSH,LH, hCG, Estrogen and Progesterone.
Nonpharmacologic therapies include avoidance of migraine triggers and biofeedback, acupuncture, physical therapy, massage therapy and stress reduction techniques such as meditation. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) and magnesium may be helpful and are safe to take during pregnancy. Prescription medications that are safe during pregnancy include beta blockers like Propanolol and Labetolol. Topomax should be avoided when pregnant due to the risk of cleft palate with this medications and is considered a Category D drug by the FDA.
If you have questions on how to manage your migraines while undergoing infertility treatment, please contact us, we can help!