Migraines are a neurogenic condition – meaning they are caused by, controlled by, or arise in the nervous system – that is associated with changes in brain perfusion. Perfusion is the process where blood flows through microscopic blood vessels in order to exchange oxygen, carbon dioxide and other molecules through your cell walls. Research suggests that the early phase of migraines comes from inflammation in the nervous system that affects the blood vessels in your brain and your dura, which is the membrane that surrounds the brain and the spinal cord (your central nervous system). 
Migraines are a primary headache disorder that can cause severe or even crippling pain and other symptoms. Intense, throbbing headaches that last from hours to days are only one symptom of migraines.  Some people experience recurrent migraines, and when these happen they are called migraine episodes or attacks.
There are four stages to the classic migraine, although not all individuals will experience all four stages, and even the same individual may not experience all of the stages all of the time. The prodrome stage marks the beginning of a migraine episode. In some cases, avoiding triggers (such as alcohol or certain foods) may prevent the migraine from progressing any further. Keeping a food and drink diary can be helpful to see patterns in your daily life that may be the cause.
The aura phase usually comes immediately before the headache starts. It is characterized by visual disturbances such as seeing flashes of light or having blind spots in one or both eyes. In the headache stage, the pain is typically extreme and can be on one or both sides of the head. The final stage is called the postdrome stage and it has been called the ‘migraine hangover’. The length of the postdrome stage varies and not every migraine is followed by a postdrome.
Fluctuations in estrogen are linked to migraine headaches. You may get migraines for the first time or see an increase in severity or frequency during perimenopause. Some women have the reverse reaction, and see a reduction in migraine occurrence as they enter menopause. This may be because high levels of estrogen can trigger headaches and diminishing levels can cause a decrease. 
If you suffer from regular migraines, you may be prescribed medication for their treatment. Be aware of medication-overuse headaches – headaches that occur as a result of the medication used to treat headaches. These can occur as part of a vicious cycle where you get a headache, treat it with medication, and the medication gives you a headache. Guidelines for healthcare providers recommend treating headaches no more than 10 days per month with prescription medications and no more than 15 per month with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Acetaminophen, sold under the brand name Tylenol, is a fever reducer (antipyretic) and pain reliever (analgesic). Acetaminophen can also be found in some prescription medicines – be careful not to use the over-the-counter form at the same time as prescription medications containing acetaminophen as three is an overdose risk. Ibuprofen, sold under the brand names Advil or Motrin, is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that reduces inflammation and pain.