Is there a connection between endometriosis and migraine?
One study showed that about one-third of women with endometriosis — a condition that causes pelvic pain and abnormal bleeding — also experience migraine.
“Absolutely. It's actually considered comorbid. So I'll give an example: When you look at the general population, about 10% of women have endometriosis. Now there was a group, and I believe it was 133 women, that had endometriosis; 33% of them had migraine. So what does that mean? It means that it's two conditions that occur in association with each other, greater than you would expect in the general population. And for those listening that don't know what endometriosis is, it can be an extremely painful condition with pelvic pain, sometimes abnormal bleeding. And the problem is, it doesn't show up on a regular exam or pelvic ultrasound. But it's where you have tissue that's like the inside of the uterus that sits in other little pockets in the pelvic cavity. So think about that much more tissue that's reacting to hormones. The best way to have that diagnosed is a laparoscopy. And that would mean seeing a gynecologist. But the point is that these conditions are comorbid with each other. So, if a woman has endometriosis there's probably about a 1/3 chance she has migraines. But here's the good news! Doing things hormonally could help both.”
Susan Hutchinson, MD
Author - The Women's Guide to Managing Migraine
Orange County Migraine & Headache Center
Dr. Susan Hutchinson is a headache specialist and board-certified family practice physician. In February 2007, she founded Orange County Migraine & Headache Center, dedicated to serving patients with headache and mood disorders. Although she is not a psychiatrist, she has developed a special interest in treating mood disorders as well as headache. The mood disorders she treats include depression; anxiety; bipolar disorder; ADHD; and panic attacks. Dr. Hutchinson suffers from migraine headaches which gives her an empathy with her patients.
She felt such a calling to help patients with headache and mood disorders that she decided to specialize and devote her career to alleviating the suffering caused by both headaches and mood disorders. She lectures nationally on the subject of headache; has written dozens of articles for medical journals; participated in headache research projects and is very active in numerous professional organizations such as the American Headache Society and the National Headache Foundation.
She is the immediate post-chair of the Women’s Issues section of the American Headache Society after serving in the chair position for 5 years. Dr. Hutchinson is a dynamic and sought-after speaker. She speaks for community groups as well as professional groups. In 2010 she became the President of The Orange County Chapter of the California Academy of Family Physicians.