Types of headaches in women and their treatment


Research has shown that headaches are more common in women than in men. This is largely due to fluctuating hormone levels because as our hormones change, certain chemicals in the brain rise and fall with them.

This is not to say that headaches are caused solely by hormones or that only women get them. Social and economic factors such as stress can also contribute to it.

There are also several types of headaches, so knowing the type you’re prone to will help you determine what triggers them and how to treat them.

1. Tension Headaches

Tension headaches cause a dull ache on both sides of the head, triggered by stress, fatigue, or hunger. A tension headache is different from a migraine because it doesn’t cause nausea, sensitivity to light, sound, or smells, and it doesn’t get worse with regular activities like walking. Its triggers are often unavoidable, but can be treated with over-the-counter pills.

2. Migraines

It is believed that women are more prone to migraines than men because hormonal changes are one of the triggers for migraines, so they can occur more frequently during menstruation. The wide range of other triggers include certain types of food and drink (for example, aged cheeses, red wine, and coffee), nicotine and cigarette smoke, sudden changes in weather, sleeping too much, strong odors, and for some, even sex.

The pain from a migraine is usually felt on one side of the head. To treat migraine headaches, it’s best to visit your doctor for a prescription, as it can be an indicator of a more serious health problem.

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3. Sinus headaches

Types of headaches in women and their treatment

The sinuses are air-filled cavities in the skull that help insulate the skull. A sinus infection can cause a headache or pressure in the eyes, nose, cheek area, or on one side of the head. It is very similar to a migraine, but differs in that you also feel symptoms of a fever or see thick greenish or yellow mucus. Sinus headaches are treated with decongestants that contain pain relievers. Sometimes your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if an infection is present.

4. Exercise headaches

Some women experience headaches immediately after physical activity, particularly strenuous exercise. They are actually called exertion headaches, which are a group of headaches associated with some kind of physical exertion, such as exercise or even sex.

This type of headache is closely related to migraines, as it usually occurs in those who have inherited a tendency to migraines. Most exercise or exertional headaches are harmless and can be treated with simple pain relievers.

5. Rebound Headaches

Types of headaches in women and their treatment

This is usually triggered when you use pain relievers or even nasal decongestants too often. Constant use of painkillers can eventually backfire and cause constant headaches. What happens is that your pain threshold is lowered as your body’s pain receptors become overly sensitive when the dose of pain reliever wears off. More importantly, you shouldn’t try to treat a rebound headache on your own.

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Types of headaches in women and their treatment

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