Statistics reveal that about 65 percent of women in the 15 to 49 age group use some form of contraception. From this number, 12 percent use birth control pills like Aviane and Entrostep. Unfortunately, most of these women struggle with constant bouts of migraine headaches – a common side effect of taking medications or supplements that contain estrogen. While some go to a professional like a chiropractor for migraines to experience relief, a large fraction wonders if they should do away with their go-to pills and switch to other birth control alternatives.
If this scenario rings a bell, our discussion on birth control and migraines might help you determine your next course of action. Find out how others manage this issue and how they use natural remedies to keep their migraine symptoms at bay below.
Is Birth Control Dangerous for Women with Migraines?
Birth control pills have varying formulations. As a result, there’s no straightforward answer to the question: “Is birth control bad for female migraineurs?”. Some women claim that their birth control pills help prevent the onset of their monthly migraines. In contrast, others say that their choice of birth control medication has aggravated their migraine symptoms and caused them more pain and discomfort.
To gauge your chances of experiencing unwanted migraine headaches, you will need to check if your pills contain estrogen or any estrogen derivatives.
Nowadays, birth control pills are available in two types: progestin-containing pills and combination pills (progestin and estrogen derivatives). Check the medication label and look for ingredients like Ethinyl estradiol and estrone sulfate. You can also talk to your OB-Gyne and request to change your birth control pills to something that contains a lower dose of estrogen.
Additionally, it would help to discuss current health complaints with your OB-Gyne to know what forms of contraception you can use. Sharing details about your migraine episodes, triggers, and symptoms can help your doctor recommend the most suitable alternatives.
The more details you share, the less likely your physician would prescribe combination pills to prevent pregnancies. If you fail to discuss these things, you become prone to estrogen levels fluctuations, a hormonal issue that can kick off a nasty migraine episode.
What Birth Control Alternatives Apply to Female Migraineurs?
Besides oral contraceptives, women can choose from an array of other birth control options. Some work better than oral contraceptives because they don’t trigger chronic headaches. A few examples of these include:
- IUD or intrauterine device
- Dermal implants
- Intramuscular contraceptive
- Vaginal rings
- Nonhormonal contraceptives
- Surgical ligation
- Copper IUD
- Barrier methods like condoms and sponges
- Calendar method
It would help to consult an OB-Gyne doctor to determine what would suit your situation. This way, you can weigh in on the pros and cons and the limitations of each form of contraception.
Natural Remedies for Birth-control Related Migraines
Can’t switch to other types of contraceptives? If the rest of the birth control options discussed above don’t apply to you or are not available in your locale, it might be best to stick with what you have. To cope with the unwanted headaches that come with the dosage, we suggest exploring the following natural remedies for migraine attacks. Some of the best examples of these include:
Avoiding migraine headache triggers
Estrogen level fluctuations alone can increase your chances of experiencing worse migraine attacks. As much as possible, you should avoid aggravating the situation by steering clear from migraine food triggers like aged cheese, cured meats, cultured dairy products (kefir, yogurt, etc.), caffeine, and alcohol.
Using hot or cold therapy
Applying ice or hot compress is probably one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to managing a migraine episode. This quick first-aid technique for migraines works like a charm, especially if you only have mild symptoms.
Managing the pain with OTC medication
Muscle relaxants, NSAIDs, and pain relievers offer quick relief for women experiencing menstrual migraines or birth-control-related headaches. If you frequently experience migraine symptoms, it’s a good idea to keep a few doses of OTC pain medication in your first aid kit at home.
Addressing nutrient deficiencies
Some women who have trouble with estrogen-containing birth control pills experiment on food supplements. This is especially true for those with nutrient deficiencies. Talk to your physician about taking food supplements like magnesium, B vitamins, and coenzyme Q10.
Receiving atlas correction
An off-centered atlas or C1 bone can quickly lead to the onset of migraine symptoms like headaches, fatigue, aura, and sensory sensitivity. Hence, if you previously injured your head or suffered a traumatic brain injury, we recommend consulting with a chiropractor for migraines. This way, you can get your upper neck bones assessed and adjusted.
Start Experiencing Life-changing Relief with the Help of a Chiropractor for Migraines
Using the right contraceptive is a crucial decision for any sexually active woman. Besides considering the efficacy of the contraceptive, it’s equally important to look into common side effects like migraine headaches. Hopefully, our discussion on oral contraception and migraine attacks helped you understand the available options.
Again, if you don’t have another choice, we highly recommend seeking an upper cervical doctor for migraine relief. After all, it is likely that your migraine attacks also stem from C1 and C2 bone misalignment.
Get your neck bones checked using three-dimensional X-ray scans and undergo a physical examination of the hip and legs alignment and other upper cervical diagnostic procedures to determine if upper cervical care can help you.
Find a friendly chiropractor for migraines near you and take the first steps to experience massive relief today!