Women living together have a higher frequency of menstrual migraine

Many women are more likely to have migraines around the time of their menstrual period and in some, those migraines can be more severe. Previous studies have determined that women living together often synchronized their menstrual periods. A group of Brazilian researchers decided to compare the frequency of menstrual migraines in women who live together and those who live alone. The results were just published in the journal Headache.

The study looked at female students at a university between the ages of 18 and 30 years, all of whom suffered from migraines. One group of women lived together with two or more other students and the second group lived alone. They were asked to keep a headache diary for three months. The researchers recorded the frequency of headaches, presence of menstrual migraine, intensity of headaches, medications used including contraceptives, and triggering factors such as diet, sleep deprivation, and stress. Half of the women living together had menstrual migraines compared with 17% of women living alone. This finding was not related to the use of a contraceptive, test stress, or sleep deprivation. Women living together also tended to have menstrual cycle at the same time as their roommates.

It was a small study – it had 18 women in each group, so the results are not highly reliable.

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