Updated: Aug 25
Might estrogen deficiency in menopause trigger some cases of Trigeminal neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia, also known as tic douloureux, is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve, one of the largest nerves in the head. This nerve is responsible for transmitting sensations from the face to the brain.
Trigeminal neuralgia is more commonly observed in individuals over the age of 50, and it tends to affect women more than men. The condition can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life, as the pain attacks can be debilitating and lead to avoidance of daily activities.
In trigeminal neuralgia, individuals experience sudden and severe facial pain, often described as sharp, shooting, or electric shock-like sensations. The pain is typically triggered by common daily activities such as eating, speaking, or even touching the face lightly. The attacks of pain can be brief but intense, lasting from a few seconds to a couple of minutes.
The exact cause of trigeminal neuralgia is often unknown, but it is believed to result from irritation or damage to the trigeminal nerve. Several factors can contribute to this condition, including compression of the nerve by a blood vessel, multiple sclerosis, certain types of tumors, or facial trauma.
Treatment options for trigeminal neuralgia include medications such as anticonvulsants to help manage the pain, nerve blocks, or surgical interventions in severe cases.
If you suspect you may have trigeminal neuralgia or are experiencing facial pain, and you are peri menopausal or menopausal, it might be worth speaking with an experienced menopause doctor for consideration of HRT. If your nerve dysfunction is due to estrogen deficiency, you should experience some degree of relief by 3 months. At this point, if oestrogen helps but not fully, the dose of estrogen can be increased to further manage your symptoms.