Thursday, August 11, 2022
HomePregnancyAre Migraines Normal In Early Pregnancy

Are Migraines Normal In Early Pregnancy

What Is Morning Sickness

Is it normal to have headaches during pregnancy?

Morning sickness is characterised by nausea and stomach upset during pregnancy. Its not quite clear why it happens, but doctors think its due to hormonal changes. About 8 in 10 women will be affected by morning sickness, though some worse than others. Here are some patterns associated with the increased risk of morning sickness:

  • Pregnancy with twins or multiple fetuses
  • History of morning sickness during pregnancy or in the family
  • Women with motion sickness
  • BMI of 30 or more
  • Elevated stress hormone levels

I Am Pregnant And Getting Blind Spots With My Migraine Should I See My Doctor

It is not uncommon for a woman to have her first attack of migraine aura during pregnancy. Symptoms are typically bright visual zig-zags growing in size from a small bright spot and moving across the field of vision over 20-30 minutes before disappearing. A sensation of pins and needles moving up an arm into the mouth may accompany this. If you experience these typical symptoms and your doctor confirms that this is migraine, there is no need to be concerned and no tests are necessary. However, if the symptoms are not typical of migraine aura, it is important to exclude other disorders, such as blood clotting disorders or high blood pressure, which may occasionally produce symptoms not dissimilar from migraine.

Causes Of Headaches During Pregnancy

Headaches during pregnancy can be caused by:

  • hormonal changes – levels of certain hormones increase during pregnancy

If you suffer from migraine headaches, you may find you get migraines more often or less often when you are pregnant.

Speak with your GP or pharmacist before taking your usual migraine medications.

You May Like: Can You Get A Sick Note For Migraines

How Does Pregnancy Alter The Pattern Of Migraine

Pregnancy will usually reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. This is especially true for women with migraine without aura. A minority of women have their first migraine attack during pregnancy or in the postpartum period. Migraine attacks often increase in frequency in the first trimester but can be expected to decrease later in pregnancy. However, although attacks are usually less frequent in the second and third trimesters, new onset aura may appear at that time.

A recent large prospective study using the International Headache Societys definition criteria showed that by the third trimester of pregnancy 89% of women had either no attacks or fewer attacks. A prospective study of 49 women with migraine reported an 11%, 53%, and 79% reduction in attacks in the first, second, and third trimesters respectively. An older retrospective study of 1300 women reported a 67% cessation of migraine in pregnancy, and a smaller study of 18 patients found a 41% reduction in the overall frequency of headache. Taken together, these studies show that pregnancy is a time of substantial reduction in migraine attacks.

Although the relative hormonal stability in pregnancy is generally considered to be the basis for the improvement in headache, the detailed physiological mechanisms are not understood.

Diarrhea In Early Pregnancy

10 Signs You Should Take a Pregnancy Test: Early Signs of ...

Pregnancy and diarrhea often happen together. Diarrhea in pregnancy first trimester is usually mild, but having the runs because of an upset stomach during pregnancy 3rd trimester is most common. Symptoms of diarrhea include:

  • Loose watery stools 3+ times per day
  • Urgent frequent need to have a bowel movement
  • Abdominal cramps or pain
  • Bloating
  • Nausea

In daily life, reasons for diarrhea can range from bacterial and viral infections to food poisoning and medications. However, loose stools in pregnancy and diarrhea during early pregnancy are often caused by hormonal and dietary changes, stress, and underlying conditions like IBS.

Thats why, basically, first trimester diarrhea and diarrhea during pregnancy 2nd trimester may be a sign that your body is slowly working up to the 3rd trimester and labour. Occasional loose stools in early pregnancy, including diarrhea in the second trimester, and diarrhea at 16 weeks pregnant dont mean there is anything wrong with you.

Don’t Miss: How I Cured My Vestibular Migraine

Hormonal Changes In Pregnancy

How a pregnancy might affect your migraine and how you will manage is a common question for women who have migraine and are trying to get or are pregnant. Key issues include what medicines are safe to use and whether your attacks will change, including whether you will have aura for the first time.

Hormonal change is a common trigger for women with migraine.

During pregnancy, oestrogen levels increase sharply, while progesterone levels decrease and rise again towards the end of the pregnancy.

Overall migraine improves during pregnancy especially during the second and third trimesters. This improvement may be due to the increased oestrogen levels and increased levels of natural pain-killing hormones .

These hormones are several times higher during pregnancy, and though the relief from migraine attacks they provide might last the whole pregnancy, the levels settle back down after delivery, normally allowing migraine attacks to return.

However, not everyone will see an improvement in their migraine, especially in the early weeks of pregnancy. For some women, their migraine is unaffected. Some women experience worsening migraine during pregnancy although this is rare.

During breastfeeding, stable oestrogen levels continue to be protective against having headache again after pregnancy.

However you are affected, it can help to identify any migraine attack triggers that you have, such as lack of sleep, stress, missed meals and dehydration.

What Causes Your Migraines And Headaches

There are many different triggers for migraines, but estrogen is the primary culprit for pregnant women. It is even possible for a woman never to experience a migraine until she becomes pregnant. The elevated estrogen levels increase the probability of migraines.

Some lucky women notice their migraines disappear once they become pregnant, but others notice an extreme increase in intensity . There is significant evidence linking migraines to hormones.

Of course, there are other reasons you may suffer from one of these nasty headaches. Some triggers include:

  • Chocolate.
  • Sleep deprivation.
  • Caffeine.

In addition to chocolate and caffeine, processed food is often thought to be a migraine trigger. Try to avoid processed food if at all possible, and eat a balanced diet throughout your pregnancy. Also, I always tell my patients to remember to eat. It may sound ridiculous, but pregnancy brain can make you forget a surprising number of things! Low blood sugar from not eating can also be a migraine trigger.

Editor’s Note:

Dehydration can also be a big trigger for pregnancy-related migraines, especially in the first trimester when you are likely to suffer from morning sickness . Be sure you are hydrating as best you can, and call your doctor if you cannot keep anything down.

It should come as little surprise that many pregnant women will be sleep deprived or under some stress. Its not an easy feat to adjust your life and body around the growing baby inside you.

Recommended Reading: Side Effects Of Migraine Medicine

Headache And Migraine Remedies That Are Safe During Pregnancy

    Most women deal with headaches at some point in their lives. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that one in five women had a severe acute headache or migraine in the previous three months. Additionally, migraines are more common in women than men approximately 18 percent of women have them compared to 6.5 percent of men.

    Because headaches and migraines are so common, its probably no surprise that many women deal with them during pregnancy. For the majority of pregnant women, occasional headaches or migraines are no cause for alarm, and most standard treatments are safe. However, suffering a severe headache at key times during or after pregnancy can indicate a serious medical emergency.

    What Are Symptoms Of Headaches During Pregnancy

    Is it normal to get migraine headaches during pregnancy, and what should I do about them?

    If youve had an aching head or migraine before you conceived, you probably know what a bad headache feels like. But its still a good idea to be on the lookout for the common symptoms of headaches during pregnancy, such as:

    • Occasional throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head

    Migraine headaches, however, can come with worse symptoms, including:

    • More severe pain
    • Intense pounding in the head
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting

    Some women with migraines also experience light and sound sensitivity and they find that the pain worsens if they move or change positions.

    You May Like: Teas Good For Headaches

    How Do I Treat Headaches During Pregnancy

    During pregnancy, you want to try and relieve your headache by natural means if possible, however your health care provider may recommend acetaminophen.

    You may want to try to relieve your headache with one or more of the following natural remedies:

    • If you have a sinus headache, apply a warm compress around your eyes and nose
    • If you have a tension headache, apply a cold compress or ice pack at the base of your neck
    • Maintain your blood sugar by eating smaller, more frequent meals this may also help prevent future headaches
    • Get a massage massaging your shoulders and neck is an effective way to relieve pain
    • Rest in a dark room and practice deep breathing
    • Take a warm shower or bath
    • Practice good posture
    • Get plenty of rest and relaxation

    Headaches In Early Pregnancy

    Nearly all women have occasional headaches, but having a headache in pregnancy is not fun. And, managing headaches is especially tricky in the first trimester when you should avoid many medicines. Whether your headache is from tension or is a full-blown migraine, there are some things you should know.

    Don’t Miss: What Type Of Migraine Do I Have Quiz

    What Causes Migraine Headaches During Pregnancy

    Migraine headaches seem to have a genetic component, which means they tend to run in families. That said, theres usually a triggering event that unleashes them. One of the most common triggers at least for women is fluctuating hormone levels, particularly the rise and fall of estrogen.

    Moms-to-be who get migraine attacks tend to experience them most often in the first trimester of pregnancy, when hormone levels, including estrogen, havent yet stabilized.

    An increase in blood volume, which is also common in the first trimester, can be an additional factor. As blood vessels in the brain expand to accommodate extra blood flow, they can press against sensitive nerve endings, causing pain.

    Other common migraine triggers, whether youre pregnant or not, include:

    Aches And Pains In Early Pregnancy And What These Pregnancy Signs Mean


    Discomforts in early pregnancy are common and can really put a damper on your first trimester. The good news is your bodys working really hard in these 12 weeks and things will get easier. In the meantime, keep an eye out for our guides to alleviating pregnancy symptoms:

    Morning sickness

    Morning sickness affects around 70% of women. Serious morning sickness can be debilitating and is known as Hyperemesis Gravida. Its rare but needs medical treatment so if you suspect you have something more than your average morning sickness, see your doctor.

    Sore breasts & nipples

    Thanks to pregnancy hormones your breasts begin growing from very early in pregnancy. This can make them tender. At first your breasts may simply feel sore or heavy, or they may tingle but later you may find that the skin, and especially your nipples, become more sensitive than usual and normal underwear may irritate it. If so, you will find moving to natural fabrics, such as cotton, will help . Because of this sensitivity, you may notice your nipples hurting in the cold and taking longer to warm up.

    Period-like cramping

    Indigestion, wind and bloating

    Constipation and piles

    Another common affect of pregnancy on your digestive system is constipation. Constipation can also cause or aggravate haemorrhoids, or piles- abnormally swollen veins in your anus another frequent pregnancy nuisance.


    Blocked nose and ears



    General aches and pains

    Don’t Miss: What Type Of Migraine Do I Have Quiz

    How To Treat Migraines When Naturally Doesnt Work

    Sometimes, a migraine might continue to plague you, even after you have tried the above remedies. If the pain persists, you can take Tylenol however, it is important to avoid Aspirin and Ibuprofen. These are not safe to take during pregnancy. If the migraines become a constant nuisance, you may want to talk to your doctor about alternative medications that are safe to take during pregnancy. You can learn more about which medications are safe during pregnancy here.

    If you currently take pain medication for migraines, it is best to discuss with your doctor whether it is safe to continue using. It is best to avoid using any herbal remedies to alleviate migraines during pregnancy, as many have not been tested, and some have been shown to lead to complications.

    Want to Know More?

    Remember: Take A Test

    The most important thing you can do if you feel you may be pregnant is take a pregnancy test. These are inexpensive and widely available. You can even find them sometimes at the dollar stores! There are also community resources available such as Planned Parenthood, where you can get a test for free if you cannot afford to pay.

    If you are too shy to buy one yourself, ask a friend to pick one up for you. You can even buy them on Amazon. For your health and your babys health, its best to know as soon as you can if you are indeed pregnant. Buck up and get one!

    When taken properly, home pregnancy tests are 99% accurate. Though some say you can take them up for five days before your missed period, the earlier you test, the more likely you are to get a false negative. If the test is negative and your period still doesnt come, try again.

    Recommended Reading: Piercing That Helps With Migraines

    You May Like: Excedrin Migraine For Cramps

    What Causes Pregnancy Headaches

    Body changes during pregnancy. When youre pregnant, your blood volume increases and your hormone levels go up and down. You produce more mucus, which leads to congestion. All this can lead to headaches.

    Not enough water.Dehydration can cause pregnancy headaches. You need to drink more than usual when youre pregnant. This is even more important if you are vomiting or have nausea.

    Muscle stress. Your growing baby is pushing against your body parts. Your posture also changes. All this can create muscle tension in your body and lead to tension headaches. This tends to happen more in the third trimester of pregnancy.

    Caffeine withdrawal. Many pregnant women give up caffeine. This caffeine withdrawal can trigger headaches

    Low blood sugar. Pregnancy often leads to changes in your eating habits and appetite. Hunger and low blood sugar levels can trigger headaches.

    Nutritional deficiencies. You may get headaches if you dont have enough nutrients, such as:

    • Calcium

    When Should I Be Concerned

    Is it normal to get headaches during pregnancy, and what should I do about them?

    When a headache is severe, or just doesnt go away, or when you have dizziness, blurred vision, or changes in your field of vision, you should contact your healthcare provider. Headaches can sometimes be related to blood pressure problems in pregnancy. If they are persistent or severe and happen after 20 weeks of pregnancy, let your healthcare provider know. Although strokes during pregnancy are rare, migraines can increase a pregnant womans risk for them. If you have migraines, report them to your healthcare provider.

    Don’t Miss: Migraine Med With Caffeine

    When Should I Call My Doctor

    Whether you experience headaches or not, its always important to discuss your pre-pregnancy history, obstetrical history and concerns with your doctor for an individualized assessment and management plan. However, if none of the above treatments resolve your mild headache or your headaches become more frequent and severe, talk to your doctor to determine the cause.

    This includes new headaches that present after 20 weeks, a sudden onset of severe headaches, headaches associated with a fever, mental health changes, elevated blood pressure and vision changes, Dr. Saunders said. Its important to keep an open line of communication with your physician and let them know about any changes in your health so they can rule out anything serious.”

    Pregnancy Gas And Bloating

    Gas during pregnancy occurs along with other gastrointestinal side effects. It may be caused by hormonal changes, like the production of more progesterone. This hormone relaxes the bodys muscles, including the intestinal ones, which slows digestion and increases flatulence.

    If you have gas when pregnant, try some simple lifestyle and diet hacks to ease the pressure in your gut. Take it easy on high-fiber, hard-to-digest foods like beans, avoid fizzy drinks and fatty foods, and get out for a walk to help move things along.

    CAUTION If bloating is accompanied by severe pain that lasts more than 30 minutes, or you have constipation for two weeks or more, you should call your doctor.

    Also Check: Does Cream Of Tartar Help With Migraines

    Headaches In Pregnancy According To The Time It Occurs

    Headache during pregnancy: first trimester

    During the first trimester of pregnancy the body suffers both an increase in hormones , as well as an increase in blood volume. These two significant changes result in intense headaches every day.

    This headache in pregnancy is normal, however, it can be worsened by stress, incorrect posture and/or changes in vision.

    It can be accompanied by nausea and/or vomiting, which, due to its passage, leaves pain after the effort of vomiting frequently.

    Dizziness and headache in the first trimester of pregnancy are characterized by sweating, skin paleness and blurred vision, which sometimes leads to fainting.

    The causes of dizziness in pregnancy are mainly due to: hypotension: blood pressure is much lower than usual hypoglycemia: decreased blood sugar levels

    Colics in the first weeks of pregnancy usually occurs when the uterus expands, causing the ligaments and muscles that support it to stretch.

    This is interesting: why does my head hurt everyday?

    Headache during pregnancy: second trimester

    It is likely that headaches during the second trimester tend to disappear once the hormones level out and the body adapts to changes.

    During the second trimester of pregnancy a headache could be a symptom of preeclampsia, which is characterized by high blood pressure, edema, presence of proteins in the urine and excessive weight gain.

    Headache during pregnancy: third trimester

    Premature detachment of the placenta Premature rupture of membranes


    Popular Articles