Prevalence of menstrual migraine: a population-based study

Cephalalgia. 2014 Apr;34(4):280-8. doi: 10.1177/0333102413507637. Epub 2013 Oct 7.


Aim: To present data from a population-based epidemiological study on menstrual migraine.

Material and methods: Altogether, 5000 women aged 30-34 years were screened for menstrual migraine. Women with self-reported menstrual migraine in at least half of their menstrual cycles were invited to an interview and examination. We expanded the International Classification of Headache Disorders III beta appendix criteria on menstrual migraine to include both migraine without aura and migraine with aura, as well as probable menstrual migraine with aura and migraine without aura.

Results: A total of 237 women were included in the study. The prevalence among all women was as follows: any type of menstrual migraine 7.6%; menstrual migraine without aura 6.1%; menstrual migraine with aura 0.6%; probable menstrual migraine without aura 0.6%; probable menstrual migraine with aura 0.3%. The corresponding figures among female migraineurs were: any type of menstrual migraine 22.0%, menstrual migraine without aura 17.6%, menstrual migraine with aura 1.7%, probable menstrual migraine without aura 1.6% and probable menstrual migraine with aura 1.0%.

Conclusion: More than one of every five female migraineurs aged 30-34 years have migraine in ≥50% of menstruations. The majority has menstrual migraine without aura and one of eight women had migraine with aura in relation to their menstruation. Our results indicate that the ICHD III beta appendix criteria of menstrual migraine are not exhaustive.

Keywords: Migraine; classification; menstrual migraine; menstruation; prevalence.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Menstruation*
  • Migraine Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Migraine Disorders / etiology*
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Prevalence