JOURNAL ARTICLE

Symptoms of premenstrual syndrome in female migraineurs with and without menstrual migraine

Kjersti Grøtta Vetvik, E Anne MacGregor, Christofer Lundqvist, Michael Bjørn Russell
Journal of Headache and Pain 2018 October 17, 19 (1): 97
30332985

BACKGROUND: Menstrual migraine (MM) and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) are two conditions linked to specific phases of the menstrual cycle. The exact pathophysiological mechanisms are not fully understood, but both conditions are hypothesized to be triggered by female sex hormones. Co-occurrence of MM and PMS is controversial. The objective of this population-based study was to compare self-assessed symptoms of PMS in female migraineurs with and without MM. A total of 237 women from the general population who self-reported migraine in at least50% of their menstruations in a screening questionnaire were invited to a clinical interview and diagnosed by a neurologist according to the International Classification of Headache Disorders II (ICHD II), including the appendix criteria for MM. All women were asked to complete a self-administered form containing 11 questions about PMS-symptoms adapted from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The number of PMS symptoms was compared among migraineurs with and without MM. In addition, each participant completed the Headache Impact test (HIT-6) and Migraine Disability Assessment Score (MIDAS).

FINDINGS: A total of 193 women returned a complete PMS questionnaire, of which 67 women were excluded from the analyses due to current use of hormonal contraception (n = 61) or because they did not fulfil the ICHD-criteria for migraine (n = 6). Among the remaining 126 migraineurs, 78 had MM and 48 non-menstrually related migraine. PMS symptoms were equally frequent in migraineurs with and without MM (5.4 vs. 5.9, p = 0.84). Women with MM reported more migraine days/month, longer lasting migraine attacks and higher HIT-6 scores than those without MM, but MIDAS scores were similar.

CONCLUSION: We did not find any difference in number of self-reported PMS-symptoms between migraineurs with and without MM.

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