Migraines During Pregnancy

Migraines During Pregnancy
Migraines During Pregnancy

Migraines During Pregnancy - The majority of women who experience migraine headaches during pregnancy do not have major problems. Usually the first two months of pregnancy they continue to suffer from migraines but in the great majority, they get rid of them because of estrogen that plays a protective role throughout pregnancy. Migraine headaches appear again in the difficult period of childbirth, because of the falling estrogen. The article below explains the reasons of why do women have migraine headaches during pregnancy and also explains what you should do and not to for proper treatment of migraine headaches during pregnancy.

Why do women experience migraine headaches during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, estrogen in the blood of women gradually increases to reach high levels. Fortunately, there are no fluctuations and sudden drops as they occur during the normal menstrual cycle. Thus, migraine headaches tend to improve in most women during pregnancy, both in frequency and intensity. In many women, migraines may disappear completely during the pregnancy or be so mild as to not be a problem. A minority, however, not more than 10% of pregnant women with migraine headaches, will experience worsening of migraines, particularly during the first trimester of pregnancy. This is often followed by improvement in the remainder of pregnancy.

Women who have no strong migraine headaches during pregnancy, may experience migraines during puerperium, and sometimes immediately after the birth of the baby. This is expected because the high estrogen levels fall rapidly after birth.

If the migraine headache crisis is acute during pregnancy, there is a significant problem, as many of the medication usually used for the treatment of migraine headaches can not be taken during pregnancy, since there are proven not safe for the fetus. Any woman experiencing this problem should discuss with her gynecologist and to consult specific neurologist.

The American Council For Headache Education, with its own research found that because of the sharp drop in estrogen during post-natal (after birth), migraine headaches occur in 30%. Statistics from surveys of other migraine headache centres suggests that in some women migraine appears for the first time in pregnancy. It should be noted here that, in general, migraine headache statistics might differ from country to country. In any case, if you suffer more often from migraine headaches (than you did before), and if you experience a delay in your period, nausea or have faint trends, you should do a pregnancy test. Especially during the first trimester of pregnancy it is not rare for the pregnant to suffer from migraine headaches. According to experts, the migraine headaches during pregnancy are related to hormonal factors, and you should start worrying in the case they insist, are too strong or accompanied by vomiting. In such cases you should consult your doctor. Moreover, because during pregnancy the nasal cavities are more sensitive, perhaps the reason for the headache is due to nasal congestion. The steam inhalations may provide a quick relief in these cases.

What you can do if you have migraine headaches during pregnancy?

If you suffer from migraine headaches during pregnancy, you should know that you should not take painkillers. During pregnancy you should not take any medications-even those considered safe, without the permission of the doctor. To get relief from migraine headaches during pregnancy without the help of medication, you can wash your face with cold water and then be isolated in a quiet and dark room.

Can migraine headaches during pregnancy cause other health problems?

Migraine headaches during pregnancy increase the risk of stroke, according to American researchers, but they also stress that the overall risk remains low. The researchers suspect that the migraine headaches add an additional burden to the body when it already has to deal with the increased blood volume and heart rate.

The research was published in «British Medical Journal», and associates headaches with an increased risk of heart disease, thrombosis and hypertension. In parallel, they suggest that migraine headaches may be an indication that and a sign that the cardiovascular system is not working as well as it should. Previous investigations have shown that cells forming the inner walls of blood vessels may not function properly in people with migraines. Percentage of around 26% of women with young children and about one third of women between 35 and 39 years suffer from migraine headaches.

The researchers based their findings on analysis of 33,956 pregnancies. Migraine headaches during pregnancy are linked to fifteen times more stroke incidents, three times more incidents of clot in the veins and double risk of heart disease. Although the risk of stroke in pregnancy is low, about 4 cases per 100,000 births, researchers reported that doctors should pay special attention to pregnant women you who complain about migraine headaches during pregnancy, and to treat the situation as a hypothetical indication of cardiovascular problems.

The research has not intention at all to discourage women who have migraine headaches to stay pregnant. Exports from the «Stroke Association», stated that stroke in pregnancy is very rare. However, it continues, to state that new research shows that women with migraine headaches during pregnancy is at risk of stroke and that they should speak with their doctor if they have migraines. Other experts though argue that the research was based on limited information obtained from the files of patients. They consider therefore that this research does not prove that migraine headaches during pregnancy may increase the risk of stroke.

Migraine headaches during pregnancy are a common phenomenon in many women. Most of the cases there are no severe side affects but in some cases the pain is intense and may create an uncomfortable condition. In any case pregnant women should not take any medication as this could have negative effects on the fetus. It is best to always consult your doctor in case of continuous and intense migraine headaches during pregnancy.