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Q. Will quitting estrogen birth control help with my migraine and visual aura?

Answered by
Dr. Jimesh H Mavani
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 11, 2020 and last reviewed on: Sep 03, 2020

Hi doctor,

I am 24 years old and in good health. However, I do suffer migraines when I get my period. I am very active with a full time third grade teaching job and a part time dance teacher two nights a week. I also have a serious long distance relationship, which we see only on weekends and one of us drive 2.5 hours one way. I am very busy and usually stressed out. I recently saw a new gynecologist since my past doctor left the practice. During my first visit last week she asked if I get visuals migraines, I said actually, I got one not that long ago. She asked whether I had a headache before the visual migraine and I said I really could not remember. She said that she was going to switch my birth control to one with no estrogen. I tried to ask questions, which she tries to skip over, and basically said because she was worried I could have a stroke. Is this really true? Since being on the new birth control, I get facial rashes and acne. I feel like crap and I got my period a week earlier.

She gave me three months to decide if I want a birth control shot, implant or IUD. I do not feel comfortable with any of those options. I know you cannot give exact medical advice, but if you did you would be giving it to me based on our first conversation just like I did with her. What are your thoughts? Would you have taken me off my regular birth control? Do you think I should get a second opinion with a different doctor?

Dr. Jimesh H Mavani

General Practitioner Obstetrics And Gynaecology


Welcome to

Estrogen can have a stroke-like side effect. But chances are very less. Normally people take oral pills more than five years without complaints. I always ask my patients to take pills for three months and take one month gap and use an alternative method for contraception for that month. And like wise three months on and one month off with an alternate method like condom or withdrawal or other.

Drink more water. Keep hydrated especially in summer and while having more heavy work during day. And do not miss the tablets during month. Every tablets have their side effects. Tablets with androgenic effects can have facial rashes and all.

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