Birth control pills can cause migraines during menstruation.

Recent study: Women taking oral contraceptives containing estrogen have a 40% greater risk of suffering migraine headaches during menstruation than women who don't take oral contraceptives.

Reason: When one is on oral contraceptives, the hormone-free week causes a steep drop in estrogen levels right before menstruation, which increases the risk of migraines.

Better for migraine sufferers: Use estrogen patches during the hormone-free week, or use the oral contraceptive Mircette, which allows for a gradual decrease in estrogen. Women who get migraines with auras should avoid hormone birth control entirely.

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