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Menstrual migrain relief from hysterectomy? Menstrual migrain relief from hysterectomy?

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Unread 10-13-2011, 12:19 PM
Menstrual migrain relief from hysterectomy?

Greetings Sisters,

I suffer from migraines that start right before, and linger for several days into, my period. This has been the pattern for many years.

I have read several posts on this topic but the answers are confusing, so I'm asking for more specific information.

To the best of my knowledge, my ovaries are healthy and the decision to keep them or not is mine, unless the doctor discovers them to be unhealthy. I am 47, menopause is nowhere in site, there is very little history of cancer (no ovarian or uterine at all) in my family, but heart disease is not uncommon.

I am hoping that my monthly migraines diminish or cease completely post-op - SO .....

Keep my ovaries or not? Keep one? (I read this somewhere)
Natural menopause vs HRT and increased risk of heart disease?

I'm thinking that the reduction or cessation of my migraines might be worth the risk of potential future heart disease if there is evidence for it.

I would like to hear from some post-op sisters who suffered pre-op menstrual migraines about their operation and post-op experiences - immediately after surgery and several months down the road.

Did you retain your ovaries or not?
Did you suffer an immediate post-op migraine?
Did your migraines decrease, stay the same or get worse over time after surgery?
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Unread 10-13-2011, 07:40 PM
Re: Menstrual migrain relief from hysterectomy?

Hi McLila

Although I didn't experience migraines, I did experience hormone-related headaches off and on for years.

I kept my ovaries, and my experience has been that all of my usual PMS symptoms greatly diminished--breast tenderness, bloating, moodiness, and even headaches. While there's no guarantee what your experience will be, it is worth asking your doctor about this. You could always keep your ovaries and if you continue to have problems you could have them removed later.

Good luck with making your decision!

Unread 10-13-2011, 08:37 PM
Re: Menstrual migrain relief from hysterectomy?

Hey fritzi64

Thanks for the info - much appreciated!
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Unread 10-13-2011, 08:55 PM
Re: Menstrual migrain relief from hysterectomy?

While I did not suffer migraines as frequently as you, I did get them and they were definitely related to my cycle. I normally got them in and around my period - I just had to hit the right stress factor at the right time and I would get a migraine.

Since my TAH BSO, I have had reduced migraines. I have also been on ERT for two months now. I have had about 2 migraines since my surgery - probably about a 50 to 75% reduction. BUT I never got the "flash" or any vision issues before my migraines. If you do get those, then your migraines may be different. So, as Fritz said, talk to your doctor regarding your situation.

Good luck.

Unread 10-13-2011, 09:03 PM
Re: Menstrual migrain relief from hysterectomy?


Thank you so much for your information. I did talk to my doctor and basically she thinks it's a crap shoot, but I thought if I could gather enough information I could spot a trend. The more info I get the better.

Oh, and I love your tag line!
Unread 10-13-2011, 09:13 PM
Re: Menstrual migrain relief from hysterectomy?

So you can consider all angles, let me share my experience which is different that what has been posted so far.

My PMS symptoms increased drastically following my hysterectomy. In fact, I barely and rarely had any prior to my hysterectomy. We attribute the reason to having used bcp for many years which likely had kept the PMS at bay. Now that it is just me and my own hormones, we don't get along well! Thankfully, over the years my symptoms have decreased in some ways, though earlier this year I had a rough few months again.

I have also dealt with hormonal migraines. My neurologist does not advocate an oophorectomy as a treatment option. He said the stats are actually quite low for migraines decreasing or disappearing following the removal of the ovaries. Some of it can depend on whether or not you are able to find the right HRT balance which can be a challenge for many women.

I would suggest talking a neurologist before making your final decision. Rather than an oophorectomy, I used a prophylactic medication which helped a lot. This also allowed me to keep my ovaries and avoid many of the issues that go along with surgical menopause.

I wish you all the best for whatever you decide is right for you!

Unread 10-13-2011, 09:43 PM
Re: Menstrual migrain relief from hysterectomy?

Hi Weiser,

Wow, great info and good advice. I'll look into neurologists tomorrow.

And thanks everyone for all the hugs! Hugs back at you.
Unread 10-15-2011, 08:52 AM
Re: Menstrual migrain relief from hysterectomy?

Hi McLila-

A "crap shoot" is exactly the term my neurologist used when I talked to her about whether to keep my's what happened to me:

I was age 48 when I needed my hysterectomy for enlarged uterus and fibroids. Ultrasound indicated that my ovaries were healthy. No sign of menopause in sight, I was having my periods every 28 days. Migraines had started at the age of 30, and I was taking nortriptyline daily to help reduce frequency and pain levels, and I took frovatriptan & butalbital at onset of migraine. My migraines would come at the onset of my period and in the 3-day period exactly mid-cycle between periods.

Although migraines were bad, I was managing them pretty well w/ my medications. I was concerned that if I removed my ovaries and needed HRT that the effect that the hormones could have on my migraines could be detrimental. I also hated the idea of removing a healthy organ, especially in light of all the good things ovaries do for our bone and heart health. After consulting with both my neurologist and my gynecological surgeon, I made the decision to keep my ovaries because I felt like my migraines couldn't get any worse if I kept my ovaries.

Had my dvh in June 2010, just removing my uterus/fibroids. I was blessed with a very easy surgery and recovery. After just a couple of weeks after surgery, I could tell my ovaries were still working as normal because I continued to get the menstrual symptoms of sore breasts, face breaking out, etc, every 28 days. However, it kind of dawned on me about a month after my dvh that I hadn't had a headache, much less a migraine. Two months went by and still not a headache in sight. In November 2010, it was time for my annual PAP smear with my surgeon, and I still had yet to have a headache. I told him how amazing I was doing and asked why my migraines had completely gone away. He indicated that sometimes a very enlarged uterus/fibroids like mine could really get your hormones "whacked out" and could be the cause of migraines like mine.

In December 2010, I went back to my neurologist, and she decided to start weaning me off the nortriptyline to see what would happen. I'm happy to report that I'm 1 year and 3 months post surgery, and I'm still doing amazing. My neurologist has me off all my meds with instructions to just come back and see her if the migraines start back up. I just couldn't be happier with how everything has gone for me.

Wishing you a lot of luck for a speedy recovery! Just do your'll figure out what's the best decision for you!!! Don't hesitate to give a shout if you have any other questions - I know how you feel - it was such a huge decision, and I feel like I really made the best decision for myself.

Best wishes-
Unread 10-15-2011, 12:52 PM
Re: Menstrual migrain relief from hysterectomy?

Hello Di,

I read your story and thought I could have written it - almost identical, except I take only sumatriptan. I probably should have seen a neurologist years ago.

At any rate, thanks for all the information and sharing your story, it's very much appreciated. Thank you for the good wishes and the invitation to pick your brain some more, too.
Unread 10-15-2011, 01:04 PM
Re: Menstrual migrain relief from hysterectomy?

I have had premenstrual migraines for years. I am 3 months post op and kept both my ovaries. I am what would normaly be premenstrual right now and am having a migraine. Thank goodness for Zomig or I would be spending the entire weekend in bed. The neurologist is an excellent idea. Good luck with your decision.

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