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Oral Contraceptive Pill bad for Focal Migraines

Focal Migraines and the ‘oral  contraceptive pill’.

So I promised in my previous post to explain why the ‘pill’ can be bad for some migraine sufferers. The specific risk is to focal migraine sufferers when prescibed the contraceptive Pill.

Oral contraceptives – important information for women

Oral contraceptives that contain hormones can frequently be one of the main ‘Triggers’ for migraine in women. It is also worth noting that the difference between a migraine with or without aura also known as focal migraines can seriously affect your choice of contraception. As someone who was incorrectly prescribed the combined contraceptive pill by my family GP, I know this to be only too true.

Why does my having ‘focal migraines’ make a difference to my choice of pill?

You may well ask why ‘focal migraines’ make such a difference, let me enlighten you. All women with ‘aura’ migraines who want / need to take  the combined contraceptive pill need to know this information. Sufferers from ‘focal’ migraines like myself are at a greater risk of ‘ischaemic stroke’ I was not told this until a horrified female locum told me, at this time I had been on the pill for 3 years in the 1980’s!

The combined contraceptive pill and the risk of stroke

Although the risk is usually small in my case it was increased due to my having been prescribed it for Polycystic ovaries. Even at this time, it was known to increase the risk of diabetes and possible strokes. So the combination of my health condition and the combined oral contraceptive could actually have had very serious if not fatal consequences. The female locum did go very white and even though I should have been weaned off the pill. I was told to stop it immediately.

migraines and auras - myths debunked.Why you should always talk to your GP before taking the contraceptive pill

The moral is always tell your doctor what type of migraine you suffer from before agreeing to take the contraceptive pill [they won’t always think to ask you!] Even if you are not sure what type of Migraine you have, explain your symptoms and your GP will tell you. Make sure to mention any visual disturbance.

Sometimes, although you may not have suffered ‘aura migraines’ before. Taking the pill can actually ‘trigger’ them. Tell your GP immediately, and he/she will help you to find an alternative to the ‘oral contraceptive pill’.

In conclusion, as with all medical conditions, don’t be scared. Talk to your GP and find the best way together to manage your condition in the future.





Comment below about your experiences. Have you had the ‘pill’ prescribed to you incorrectly?


Disclaimer: All information on this page has come directly from personal experience. If in any doubt make an appointment with your GP.



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Migraine Triggers Part Two – Being a Woman!

Migraines and hormones

Migraines being female – Hormonal Triggers

So in an earlier post, I explained how I used to suffer from the most terrible Migraines and what my personal ‘triggers’ were. I promised to cover ‘hormones’ later on. So here I am again.

No 1 – Migraines and puberty what every young girl needs to know

Migraine has long been closely associated with female hormones and the changes we experience as we change and grow older.

What every teenage needs to know about hormones and migraines.
Teenagers, periods, migraines, what you need to know

Some young girls start to develop Migraine attacks on the onset of puberty and the beginning of their menstrual cycle

Confused and frightened

This can be a very frightening time for young girls who are already experiencing so many changes in their body and with their emotions. I would always recommend talking to a caring adult as well as a medical professional.

As many young girls, due to the violence of these attacks, wrongly believe they are seriously ill. Migraines although very scary are rarely life-threatening. They can often be helped with appropriate medication and prescription of the oral contraceptive pill but before asking about the pill. Check out my post on the ‘oral contraceptive and the risk caused to ‘focal migraine’ sufferers when it is prescribed.

No 2. Women, our child bearing years and the connection to migraines

Migraines can be prevelant during our child bearing years
During our child bearing years, women can suffer from severe migraines

Migraines can continue throughout the whole of our child bearing years, with around 50% of women saying that their menstrual cycle directly affects their migraines. To be clear I am not talking about just your actual period, I am talking about the whole menstrual cycle and all it’s associated biological changes in a woman’s body. These changes can be both physical and psychological.

It has been known for some time that female sex hormones can play a big part in our migraines. From my own point of view not only was I very irritable/bordering on angry. But my migraines always increased before my period becoming longer and much more violent. Unusually in my case I could also experience Migraines on the last day of a period.

What is the difference between migraines and menstrual migraines?

You probably have never heard of this unless you are a sufferer yourself, but there is also a specific condition where your migraine attacks are actually  linked to the menstrual cycle and  not just a ‘trigger’ this is known as ‘menstrual migraines’.

This is a topic that requires much more detailed analysis then I can give in this post. So please come back soon to check out this topic in more depth.

Migraines and premenstrual syndrome

The dreaded Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects between 70% and 90% of fertile women. I’m sure that if you experience this as I did you know that it can make your life and those of your loved ones miserable.

But did you know that Migraine and headaches can also occur as part of PMS alongside symptoms such a sore breasts and irritability. Keeping a diary for at least three menstrual cycles may help to determine whether you fall into this section of women.

No 3: Menopause and midlife – Migraines aren’t finished with us yet

Migraines and menopause
Thank you to wikipedia for “Symptoms of menopause (raster)” by Mikael Häggström – Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Commons –

Migraines can go as suddenly as they arrive. But our Hormones have one last cruel trick to play. The Menopause. Just when you thought life was good, you had been Migraine free for some time. You start the Menopause and this is often the worst time of your life for Migraines.

Peri-menopause is the time usually around 40 but can be earlier, when women become less fertile. Periods become even more irregular, if possible, until they finally stop completely. This adjustment can take 20 years, yes, I did say twenty. My poor sister is still suffering.

At this time all your hormones are messed up. Even if you have never suffered ‘hormonal’ migraines before you can start to be affected. Or your ‘old’ migraines can return with a vengeance.

Menopause, studies, and statistics, what do they show?

‘True’ Menopause typically affects women between 40 and 60 years old, but this can vary dramatically. Some studies and there have not been many, have suggested that the menopause can make migraines worse in around 45% of women. Nearly half notice no difference and a small percent may even show signs of an improvement. Sometimes women even continue having attacks after the menopause ceases the reason for this is not clear.

Signs of Improvement

Thankfully this will normally settle within 2 to 5 years after the menopause finishes. Although a few women continue to have regular attacks after their menopause for most women the end of a natural menopause can be a time when they finally see signs of their migraines improving.

Comment below with your stories of Migraines, the Menopause or anything related to your health.

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I love gemstones. So beautiful, so full of meaning

I love gemstones but not my own birthstone the boring Peridot

I love gemstones

I love gemstones in all their diverse beauty. Every semi-precious stone has a specific meaning. I have been fortunate enough to find this amazing infographic that clearly explains the true meaning of gemstones . My thanks go to Arsinoi Lainioti for pinning the original which was found on

Peridot and other gemstones in a lovely bracelet
Lovely peridot; rose quartz and pearl bracelet

Peridot the boring Birthstone

My own birthstone is I am afraid, in my own opinion boring. The Peridot can be dull and uninspiring but sometimes [as in the example on the left], can be improved with the introduction of other prettier gemstones.  Which I see they didn’t even bother to list! Why I had to be born a Leo in August, I blame my Mum. Her stone was the beautiful Amethyst, [Great example being this amazing tealight holder] which since her passing, I have adopted as my own as well as a favourite the rose quartz. A gemstone  I fell in love with when I inherited Mum’s pendant.

Semi-Precious Stone Amethyst February Birthstone:

Do you love or hate your birthstone? What does your choice of gemstone say about you? Do you even believe in this or is it all ‘mumbo jumbo’ to you. I would love to hear your thoughts so please leave a comment below and check back for my next instalment on natural gems as opposed to cut gemstones and their meaning. Much too wide a subject to cover in one post!

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Psychology of colour

Meaning of the colour of roses

Psychology of colour – roses and more.

I promised you my website would never be boring so let’s start with an amazing infographic on the meaning of color in roses published by Yasmin Canaan at

Certainly, food for thought when deciding on your wedding flowers!

I love all roses but my favourite is Constance Spry bred by David Austin, a truly beautiful pink climbing rose and my namesake. Check out this and other beautiful flowers on David Austin’s own website. [I am not affiliated with David in any way, just love his roses] constance spry 'david austin'

I love all colour, from pink to purple my favourite color has changed throughout my life. As a young girl, it was everything Pink. During my time as a civil servant. It became more muted with Autumnal shades. And now I have reached the big ’50’ it is all over the place, but mainly blues and greens. If I live to be 100. I am sure the colours I love to have around will change many more times.

When it comes time to choose those all important wedding flowers a new cushion or even kettle for your stylish home why not refer to this delightful infographic for your inspiration.

Meaning of Rose Colors

From Visually.

There is far too much to go into for only one post. So watch this space for more facts about colour and how we use it in our daily life.

I’d love to hear what your favourite color is and why you love it so much. Do you have a home that has a specific color as it’s theme? Do you wear certain colors for different reasons, ie. work, rest and play? Is there a color you would never wear or hate with a passion? Tell me your reasons for and against by commenting below.