Prevalence of migraines in adolescents with endometriosis

Cross-sectional study conducted within The Women’s Health Study: From Adolescence to Adulthood—an ongoing longitudinal cohort

image of migraines in adolescents

Prenatal exposure to estrogenic substances (such as DES) and environmental toxins (such as bisphenols) may increase the incidence of endometriosis in female offspring

2018 Study Abstract

Objective
To determine the prevalence and experience of migraines in adolescents with surgically confirmed endometriosis compared with those without endometriosis.

Design
Cross-sectional study conducted within The Women’s Health Study: From Adolescence to Adulthood—an ongoing longitudinal cohort.

Setting
Boston Center for Endometriosis.

Patient(s)
Adolescent females enrolled November 2012 through November 2016. The case group included adolescents surgically diagnosed with endometriosis. The control group included adolescents without endometriosis, recruited from the local community and clinics.

Intervention(s)
Not available.

Main Outcome Measure(s)
An extensive online health questionnaire regarding medical history, lifestyle, medication use, anthropometrics, and symptom experience and treatments. Migraine diagnosis was self-reported. Migraine pain and noncyclic pelvic pain severity were rated using an 11-point numerical rating scale. Cyclic pelvic pain was categorized.

Result(s)
Adolescents with endometriosis were more likely to experience migraines (69.3%) than those without endometriosis (30.7%) (multivariable odds ratio = 4.77, 95% confidence interval 2.53, 9.02). For each 1-point increase in the migraine numerical rating scale, the odds of endometriosis increased by 22% (multivariable odds ratio = 1.22, 95% confidence interval 1.03, 1.44; Ptrend = .02). Among those with endometriosis, age of menarche was associated inversely with the odds of migraines. Participants with endometriosis and migraines have more dysmenorrhea than those without migraines.

Conclusion(s)
Adolescents with endometriosis are more likely to experience migraines than adolescents without endometriosis. A linear relationship exists between migraine pain severity and the odds of endometriosis, suggesting heightened pain sensitivity for adolescents with endometriosis. Due to the strong correlation, patients who present with either condition should be screened for comorbidity to maximize the benefits of care.

Author: DES Daughter

Activist, blogger and social media addict committed to shedding light on a global health scandal and dedicated to raise DES awareness.

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