May 11, 2024

Women and Migraines: Why the Gender Gap?

Title: Unraveling the Enigma: Women and Migraines - Why the Gender Gap Persists

Migraines, a debilitating neurological condition, affect millions worldwide. However, women are disproportionately impacted, accounting for approximately 75% of all reported cases. This gender disparity in migraine prevalence is a complex issue, influenced by various biological, hormonal, and socio-cultural factors. In this blog post, we delve into the intricacies of this gender gap and explore the reasons behind it.

Biological Differences:

Research suggests that women's brains process pain differently than men's. Women have a lower pain threshold and are more sensitive to certain types of pain, including migraines. Hormonal fluctuations, particularly estrogen, play a significant role in the development and severity of migraines in women. Estrogen levels drop during menstruation, leading to an increase in migraine frequency and intensity for some women.

Hormonal Influences:

The relationship between hormones and migraines is complex. Hormonal changes during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause can trigger migraines in women. Hormonal contraceptives, which contain synthetic estrogen and progesterone, can also increase the risk of migraines in some women. Conversely, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) during menopause can help alleviate migraines in others.

Socio-Cultural Factors:

Socio-cultural factors also contribute to the gender gap in migraines. Women are more likely to experience stigma and discrimination related to their condition. They may be perceived as less productive or less committed to their jobs due to their migraines. This can lead to underreporting and underdiagnosis of migraines in women. Additionally, women may prioritize the needs of their families over their own health, leading to inadequate treatment and management of their migraines.

Research and Treatment:

Despite the prevalence of migraines in women, research and treatment options have historically focused on men. However, there is growing recognition of the unique challenges and needs of women with migraines. Recent studies have explored the role of hormones in migraine development and treatment. Additionally, there is a growing interest in developing gender-specific treatments for migraines. For example, hormonal therapies and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have shown promise in treating migraines in women.


The gender gap in migraines is a complex issue, influenced by various biological, hormonal, and socio-cultural factors. While progress has been made in understanding the unique challenges and needs of women with migraines, there is still much work to be done. Further research is needed to develop gender-specific treatments and to address the stigma and discrimination faced by women with migraines. By working together, we can help bridge the gender gap in migraines and improve the lives of millions of women worldwide.