Can Ovulation Cause Headaches?

Headaches are one of common symptoms related to premenstrual syndrome (PMS). But does it mean that there is a link between ovulation and headache? Ovulation is the time of when a fully mature egg is released from the ovary. Typically, it occurs in the end of the first half of menstrual cycle.

In general, how do you get headache?

Though headache can cause discomfort or pain in the neck, scalp, or head, but fortunately it is rarely associated with serious health condition.

Many times, lifestyle approaches such as taking plenty of rest or taking relaxation therapies can be powerful enough to improve the problem. However, sometime a prolonged or severe headache can occur and it often requires medical intervention.

Tension headache

Most cases of headache are categorized into tension headache. This type usually occurs due to tight muscles in the scalp, neck, shoulders, or even jaw. Typically, it can be characterized by the following conditions [1]:

  1. It tends to affect both sides of the head. Typically, it starts at the back & spread forward. It usually comes with a tight band pain or vice versa. And it also can cause your neck, jaw, or shoulders to be sore or tight.
  2. Many times, it is related to lifestyle factors such as depressed mood or stress or the wrong way in holding your neck /head.


When we are talking about the headache and menstrual cycle – migraine may ranks at the top common type of headache that often affects women in the days prior to and during their period! Visit this section for in-depth information about the link between menstrual cycle and migraine headache.

Unlike headache tension, migraine typically causes pain (particularly intense throbbing) in one area of the head. Typically, it is followed with feeling nauseated or vomit, or/and vision changes.

There are many factors that can trigger and cause migraine. Hormonal changes associated with menstrual cycle are one of these factors.

Can ovulation cause headaches?

The answer, yes it can. Ovulation, menstrual period, the use of hormone replacement therapy, and even oral contraceptives can be potential to become a trigger factor of headache [2].

But it doesn’t affect all women. Typically, it is more likely to affect women who are sensitive to hormonal changes.

How does ovulation trigger and cause headaches?

In fact, most cases of headache in women are triggered by hormones. This is reasonable since women can have more episodes of hormonal fluctuations than men. At least there are about 5 million women who have headache related to hormone changes [3].

image_illustration97Generally, the headache related to hormone chances in menstrual cycle is triggered by a significant drop of estrogen just before the start of menses. How about in ovulation?

In few days before you get ovulation, you can have a large spike in estrogen. And this change may make you have headache, particularly if your body is very sensitive to the changes in hormones.

Both lower estrogen and change in estrogen levels can make headache worse. Steady levels of estrogen may improve the problem [4].

Does it mean that you can use headache as a sign of your ovulation?

In general, headache is not commonly used as a signal of the time when the mature egg is released from the ovaries. It is not the primary symptoms of ovulation.

However, you are the only one who completely knows your body. Some women can experience headache at the most fertile stage of their menstrual cycle. And you may be one of them.

Furthermore, the symptoms can vary from woman to woman. And you need to know that the symptoms of your ovulation may vary from period to period.

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