A team from the University of Genoa in Italy studied 133 women with endometriosis and a control group of 166 women, and found that the prevalence of migraine was significantly higher among the women with endometriosis. Double the number of women in the endometriosis group had migraine compared with the controls.
Although more women with endometriosis had migraine there was no evidence that they had more frequent attacks or more intense pain than the control women who had migraine, and there was no link either with the severity of the endometriosis. However, the researchers did find that age of onset of the migraine was lower in the endometriosis group 16.4 years as opposed to 21.9.
The study, led by Dr Simone Ferrero, a research fellow and a specialist registrar at the Gynaecologic Department of the University of Genoa, involved women of reproductive age who were undergoing laparoscopy because of infertility, ovarian cysts, benign uterine tumours or pelvic pain. All the women who indicated that they had had at least one headache in the past year were referred to a specialist headache neurologist who performed a clinical interview and classified their headaches according to internationally accepted criteria.
Said Dr Ferrero: "In our population of women with endometriosis a third of the women suffered migraine (and over 13% experienced aura before the onset of the headache), which was significantly higher than we observed in the control group where only 15% suffered from migraine. Although we can't rule out recall bias, the women with endometriosis reported a lower age at onset than the controls. But, our results did indicate that migraine severity was similar in women with and without endometriosis and was not related to the severit