How Common is Migraine and Frequent Urination?

I have migraine headaches for the last few years. The first time I had a migraine headache was when I was in a clinic seeing a patient. All of a sudden, I couldn’t see one-half of the patient’s face. 

It was scary for me as I thought of a stroke. I moved my limbs and face to see if I had any focal deficit or other signs suggestive of a stroke or not. The episode subsided spontaneously within a few minutes and I was relieved.

The next time, I had flashes of lights towards one half of my body. When I looked to that side, it would go further.

I was with my daughters and wife at that time but I didn’t tell them what was happening. when the headache set in, I realized I had a migraine aura.

During the last episode, I had ringing bells and I noticed that my right ear was blocked but that was a prodromal attack too. However, this one lasted much longer and even persisted for more than 12 hours.

I was just reading about migraine and I found that people have very weird symptoms. One of the weird symptoms of migraine is frequent urination.


Migraine and Frequent Urination?

What is the connection between a migraine and frequent urination? This is one of the weird symptoms when people with migraines pee a lot just before a headache episode sets in.

Frequent urination has been mentioned as one of the prodromal symptoms of migraine.

Why people develop frequent urination is not fully known. However, migraine headache is associated with uncontrolled neuronal stimulation.

These neuronal stimulation also involve the autonomic nervous system. Because the gut and bladder are heavily supplied by the autonomic nervous system, symptoms related to the bowels, stomach, and bladder are not uncommon.

Nausea, vomiting, constipation, abdominal cramps, bloating, and abdominal gases are commonly reported.

Likewise, symptoms of bladder overactivity such as frequent urination, inability to hold urine, and the excessive urge to pass urine are symptoms due to an overactive autonomic nervous system.

Sumatriptan and other triptans have also been linked to frequent urination, however, the association has not been studied.

In one study, the presence of an overactive bladder led to an increase in pain scores in migraine patients [Ref].


Migraine Types:

Migraine headaches can have different clinical manifestations. Because of their variable manifestations and risk factors, it is classified into different types.

The most common ones are:

  • Migraine without aura, and
  • Migraine with Aura or the classical migraine

Types of migraine headaches


Classic migraineA migraine with aura is also called a classical migraine. Symptoms or aura are explained in detail below.
Common migraineThis is a migraine headache without aura. Individuals develop certain neurological symptoms such as seeing flashing lights, zigzag lines, or having blurred vision.

These symptoms are followed by headaches which may be unilateral, affecting the eye, face, or scalp. The headache lasts 4 to 72 hours.

Chronic migraineHeadache that is very frequent with 15 or more episodes per month for 3 consecutive months 
Menstrual migraineMenstrual migraines affect women and teens during the premenstrual, menstrual, or post-menstrual phase.
Vestibular migraineVestibular migraine is a headache with symptoms of dizziness and vertigo.
Retinal migrainePeople with retinal migraine usually have visual symptoms or temporary blindness in one eye that may last for up to an hour or so.
Hemiplegic migraineThis is a close mimic of a stroke. People develop weakness in one side of the body before or during the episode that may or may not be associated with difficulty in speech. The weakness is temporary and may last for more than an hour
Aura without a headacheThis type of migraine is also called silent or acephalic migraine when a person develops an aura but does not subsequently develop a headache.



What are the prodromal symptoms of migraine with aura?

Here are some of the prodromal symptoms of migraine with aura:

Mood changes:

  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Euphoria
  • Anxiety

Changes in appetite:

  • Food cravings, especially for sweet or salty foods
  • Loss of appetite

Fluid retention:

  • Increased thirst
  • Swelling and fluid retention

Fatigue and yawning:

  • Increased tiredness
  • Frequent yawning

Neck stiffness:

  • Tension or stiffness in the neck

Cognitive changes:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased sensitivity to light or sound

Gastrointestinal symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Constipation or diarrhea

Urinary Symptoms:

  • Increased need to urinate

The American Migraine Foundation has mentioned frequent urination as one of the symptoms of the prodromal phase of migraine as shown in the picture below:

migraine with frequent urination
The timeline of a migraine attack [Source]

What is ‘Aura’ and what are the symptoms of migraine with aura?

An aura is a

Symptoms commonly reported by patients with “migraine with aura” include:

Visual disturbances:

  • Flashes of light
  • Zigzag patterns
  • Blind spots or scotomas
  • Tunnel vision
  • Seeing geometric patterns

Sensory disturbances:

  • Tingling or numbness, usually starting in the hand and moving up the arm
  • Tingling or numbness in the face or one side of the body
  • Distorted sense of touch

Language and speech difficulties:

  • Difficulty finding words
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion with language

Motor symptoms:

  • Weakness or paralysis on one side of the body
  • Difficulty coordinating movements

 Headache and Postrdromal Phase of Migraine:

After the aura symptoms, the headache develops which can be very frustrating for most of us. The headache is reported as throbbing, pulsating, dull, burning, electric current-like, heavy, and sometimes ‘unexplainable’.

After the headache phase, the person may develop somnolence, euphoria, fatigue, and depressed mood.

The American Migraine Foundation has divided migraine headaches into four different phases. Symptoms of migraine headaches in each phase are summarized in the table below:

Migraine Prodrome (Few hours to days)

  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Yawning
  • Increased urination
  • Food cravings
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Problems concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Difficulty in speaking and reading
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia

Aura (5 to 60 minutes)

  • Visual disturbances
  • Temporary loss of sight
  • Numbness
  • Tingling

Headache (4 – 72 hours)

  • Throbbing headache
  • Drilling headache
  • Icepick in the head
  • Burning  headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Giddiness
  • Insomnia
  • Nasal congestion
  • Anxiety
  • Depressed mood
  • Sensitivity to light smell and sound
  • Neck stiffness

Postdrome (24 to 48 hours)

  • Inability to concentrate
  • Fatigue
  • Depressed mood
  • Euphoric mood
  • Lack of comprehension
  • Somnolence



In conclusion:

Migraine is a syndrome of different clinical manifestations. It can affect virtually any part of the body. However, organs with the most neuronal supply are the most frequently affected.

Migraine with frequent urination is not uncommon. People have variable symptoms related to an overactive bladder but most have an increased urge to pass urine.

Some people have frequent urination at night after lying down, others may develop gastrointestinal symptoms such as yawning or constipation followed by increased urination.

Do you have migraine with frequent urination? Let us know by answering a few questions to see how many people have migraine with frequent urination

  • Question of

    Do you have migraine with frequent urination?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    When do you develop frequent urination?

    • Before the headache sets in
    • Simultaneously with the headache
    • During the post-headache phase (postdrome)
    • I don’t have frequent urination
  • Question of

    Can you hold your urine?

    • Yes
    • No
    • Sometimes
  • Question of

    Do you wake up at night to pee when you have a migraine headache?

    • Yes, Always
    • Yes, sometimes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have frequent urination every time you have a migraine headache?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Do you have frequent urination even if you don’t have a migraine headache?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Can an other condition explain your symptoms of frequent urination?

    • Yes
    • No

What do you think?

Written by Dr. Ahmed

I am Dr. Ahmed (MBBS; FCPS Medicine), an Internist and a practicing physician. I am in the medical field for over fifteen years working in one of the busiest hospitals and writing medical posts for over 5 years.

I love my family, my profession, my blog, nature, hiking, and simple life. Read more about me, my family, and my qualifications

Here is a link to My Facebook Page. You can also contact me by email at or at My Twitter Account
You can also contact me via WhatsApp 🙏

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