Link Between Migraine, Endometriosis Found

Researchers can't explain connection, say further study needed

THURSDAY, Oct. 28, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- There's evidence of a possible link between endometriosis and migraine, says an Italian study in the latest issue of Human Reproduction.

University of Genoa researchers studied 133 women with endometriosis and a control group of 166 women. Twice the number of women with endometriosis had migraine compared to those in the control group.

"In our population of women with endometriosis, a third of the women suffered migraine (and over 13 percent experienced aura before the onset of headache), which was significantly higher than we observed in the control group, where only 15 percent suffered from migraine," study leader Dr. Simone Ferrero said in a prepared statement.

But there was no evidence that women with endometriosis suffered more frequent migraine attacks or that they experienced more intense migraine pain than the women in the control group. But the age of migraine onset was lower in the endometriosis group -- 16.4 years compared to 21.9 years in the control group.

"We don't really understand the link between the two conditions, although some biochemical mediators have been implicated. It is possible that systemic spreading of prostaglandins produced by endometriosis may contribute to migraine, and it has also been shown that upregulation or disregulation of nitric oxide synthesis has a role in both migraine and endometriosis. But the association between the two conditions requires further research," Ferrero said.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has more about endometriosis.

SOURCE: European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, news release, Oct. 27, 2004
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