J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 77:690-692 doi:10.1136/jnnp.2005.081158
  • Short report

Cluster headache in women: relation with menstruation, use of oral contraceptives, pregnancy, and menopause

  1. J A van Vliet1,
  2. I Favier2,
  3. F M Helmerhorst3,
  4. J Haan2,4,
  5. M D Ferrari2
  1. 1Department of Neurology, Medical Centre Haaglanden, The Hague, Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Neurology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Gynaecology, Leiden University Medical Centre
  4. 4Department of Neurology, Rijnland Hospital, Leiderdorp, Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr I Favier
 Department of Neurology, K5-Q, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, Netherlands; i.favier{at}
  • Received 26 September 2005
  • Accepted 17 November 2005
  • Revised 9 November 2005
  • Published Online First 11 January 2006


In contrast with migraine, little is known about the relation between cluster headache and menstrual cycle, oral contraceptives, pregnancy, and menopause. A population based questionnaire study was performed among 224 female cluster headache patients, and the possible effect of hormonal influences on cluster headache attacks studied. For control data, a similar but adjusted questionnaire was sent to healthy volunteers and migraine patients. It was found that menstruation, use of oral contraceptives, pregnancy, and menopause had a much smaller influence on cluster headache attacks than in migraine. Cluster headache can, however, have a large impact on individual women, for example to refrain from having children.


  • Published Online First 11 January 2006

  • Funding: JAvV is sponsored by the Asclepiade foundation

  • Competing interests: none declared

Responses to this article

Visit the full archive of podcasts for JNNP here >>

Free sample
This recent issue is free to all users to allow everyone the opportunity to see the full scope and typical content of JNNP.
View free sample issue >>

Don't forget to sign up for content alerts so you keep up to date with all the articles as they are published.

Navigate This Article