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Could A Migraine Be A Sign Of Pregnancy

Early Signs Of Pregnancy Before A Missed Period

Warning Signs – Headaches During Pregnancy

Although every woman is different, these early symptoms can first appear before you even miss your period.

Raised basal body temperature

If you’ve been using a special basal body thermometer to track your first morning temperature, you might notice that it rises around 1 degree when you conceive and stays elevated throughout your pregnancy.

Though not a foolproof early pregnancy symptom , it could give you advance notice of the big news.

Smell sensitivity

A heightened sense of smell is an early pregnancy symptom that makes previously mild odors strong and unappealing. Since it’s one of the first symptoms of pregnancy many women report, babies might be in the air if your sniffer’s suddenly more sensitive and easily offended.

Breast changes

Tender, swollen breasts and darkening, bumpy areolas are among the breast changes you might experience early in pregnancy. The hormones estrogen and progesterone deserve most of the credit for this early pregnancy symptom. The breast tenderness is pain with a gain, though, since it’s part of your body’s preparation for the milk-making to come.

Your areolas may get darker and increase in diameter. You’ll also likely start to notice tiny bumps growing in size and number on your areolas. These bumps, called Montgomery’s tubercles, were always there, but now they’re gearing up to produce more oils that lubricate your nipples once baby starts nursing.


Implantation bleeding

Changes in cervical mucus

Frequent urination

Mood swings

Study Shows Fears About Pregnancy With Migraine Are Common

According to a September 2020 study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, nearly one in five women with migraine avoids pregnancy because of her disease. The survey of 607 women with migraine found that the most common reasons women cited for avoiding pregnancy were fears that migraine symptoms would worsen during pregnancy, that having migraine would make their pregnancy difficult, and that migraine medication would affect their childs development.

But according to Amaal Starling, MD, a neurologist and migraine specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, although its natural to be worried, having a successful pregnancy and delivery while living with the disease of migraine is totally doable.

Having a healthcare provider, whether thats a neurologist, headache specialist, or primary care doctor, who can collaborate with your obstetrician-gynecologist is an important first step, Dr. Starling says.

The good news is we do have treatment options that can be effective during pregnancy; it’s just a matter of talking to your healthcare provider about it and making sure they feel comfortable using different treatment options, whether it be for the prevention of migraine or for migraine attacks themselves, Starling says.

Outlook For Headache During Pregnancy

Headache pain during pregnancy is common. You may have tension headaches during your first trimester of pregnancy. This may happen because of the many changes that youre going through in a short period.

Headache pain may happen in the second and third period of your pregnancy for other reasons. Some causes of headaches in your mid to late pregnancy may be serious.

High blood pressure is a serious cause of headache pain during pregnancy. You can have high blood pressure at any time in your pregnancy. You may not have any symptoms at all. Check your blood pressure at least once a day with a home monitor.

Tell your doctor if you have headaches at any time in your pregnancy. Let your doctor know right away if you have a personal or family history of migraine, high blood pressure, seizures or diabetes.

Take all medications and treatment exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all diet and exercise advice carefully. See your doctor for all follow-up and regular check-ups. Most causes of headaches during pregnancy are treatable or preventable with the right care.

For more pregnancy guidance and weekly tips tailored to your due date, sign up for our Im Expecting newsletter.

Last medically reviewed on May 6, 2019

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Symptoms Of Migraines During Pregnancy

A migraine usually starts out as a dull ache and then eventually becomes a throbbing, constant, and pulsating pain in the temples, in front of the head, or base of the head. Migraines are sometimes accompanied by nausea, sensitivity to light, vomiting, dizziness, and auras, which are spots or lines that can occur across ones vision. The pain can sometimes make it difficult to focus, and symptoms can be debilitating.

What Can You Take For A Migraine While Pregnant

What Are the Early Signs of Pregnancy?

Most migraine treatments are not recommended during pregnancy, although most pregnant people can safely take acetaminophen to treat occasional migraines.;Compazine ;and most anti-nausea medications are generally considered safe.

Make sure to speak to your healthcare provider before taking any medication, including over-the-counter medications and herbal treatments.

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Is A Headache During Pregnancy Something To Worry About

Pregnancy is a beautiful thing to be celebrated, but few people fill you in on the not-so-great symptoms that may occur during the journey. Namely, heartburn, gas, constipation and, for some pregnant mamas, headaches.

While headaches can be just another normal symptom of pregnancy, should they ever be a cause for concern?

Headaches are common in women both in and outside of pregnancy, said Kelley Saunders, MD, an OBGYN with Banner University Medicine Womens Institute. But whether they are normal or not should always be discussed with your doctor.”

Here is some insight into what causes headaches during pregnancy, some remedies to treat them and why your doctor should be kept in the loop.

How Does Pregnancy Affect Migraine Headaches

About 15 to 20 percent of pregnant women have migraines. Over half of women find that their migraines occur less often in the last few months of pregnancy. However, migraines may worsen after delivery, during the postpartum period. Although migraine headaches may cause severe pain for the mother, there are no dangers for the developing fetus.

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The 12 Early Signs Of Pregnancy From Feeling Tired To Headaches

  • Vanessa Chalmers, Digital Health Reporter
  • 12:48 ET, Apr 28 2021

A HEADACHE one day and bloating another – the signs of pregnancy are all too common in every day life.

It can take several weeks before you put them together and realise you could be carrying a baby.

Doctors calculate pregnancy from the first day of a womans last period, rather than from the date the baby was conceived – if the parents can remember it.

The first obvious sign is usually a missed period.

But even this could go amiss in a small number of women who are used to erratic menstrual cycles, or who simply dont track their usual pattern.

Not all women experience the same pregnancy symptoms.

But the most common are fatigue, breast tenderness, nausea and bloating, Lia Moss, a certified nurse midwife at Northwestern Medicine, who delivers babies at Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago, told LiveScience.

Find out more about these signs:

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Some specific headache warning signs that warrant immediate medical attention include:

  • Experiencing the worst headache of your life, which comes on suddenly and reaches its peak within a minute
  • Blurry vision
  • Muscle strain from changes in your posture as the baby grows and you gain weight
  • High blood pressure in pregnancy

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What Other Symptoms Can Be Early Signs Of Pregnancy

Every person and every pregnancy is different. So, if you are pregnant, youll likely experience a unique combination of common, not-so-common and sometimes overlapping symptoms. And, they may show up earlier or later than expected. Here are more than a dozen possible symptoms of early pregnancy.

1. Spotting or light bleeding

Many women are surprised to learn that spotting or light bleeding can be an early sign of pregnancy, but about one-third of women experience it. This is often called implantation bleeding because doctors believe it occurs as the fertilized egg attaches itself into the uterine lining.

Implantation bleeding typically occurs 10 to 14 days after conception, which is just before or right around the time your period is due. So, you may think youve gotten your period.

But implantation bleeding is a light flow, which may start and stop over a couple days. And while it can take on a range of colors, its more likely to be pink, brown or light red.

Your period, on the other hand, may start off light in flow and in color but after a couple days becomes heavier, changes to a crimson red color and lasts up to a week or so.

2. Lower abdominal pain or cramping

While cramps and lower-abdominal pain can signal a coming period, they can also be a sign of egg implantation.

But menstrual cramps can often feel like a throbbing or dull ache, and typically start a day or two before your period.

3. Higher basal body temperature

4. Changes in cervical mucus

6. Fatigue

Pregnancy Means Big Changes In A Womans Body: What Does That Mean For Women With Migraine

Starting a family is one of the most amazing experiences in a womans life. It can be exciting, intimidating, joyous and even a little bit scaryespecially if you are one of the millions of women in the United States who are living with migraine. But before you put your pregnancy dreams on the backburner, we have great news: pregnancy can oftentimes bring relief to migraine patients.

Dr. Matthew Robbins, associate professor of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, researches headache and pregnancy. In a recent Facebook Live event hosted by the American Migraine Foundation, he revealed that pregnancy, and breastfeeding after birth, can actually reduce the frequency of headache attacks in women with migraine.

Women with migraine should definitely not be afraid of becoming pregnant, and theres no evidence or experience that suggests that having children is in any way harmful to women with migraine, overall, Dr. Robbins said.

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The First Three Months Of Pregnancy

During the first three months the symptoms of pregnancy can make your migraine worse. Morning sickness can mean that you feel like eating and drinking less which can cause low blood sugar and dehydration. If you are not careful this can make your migraines worse. You should try to eat small frequent meals and drink frequent small amounts of water to prevent this. You will also be helping reduce any pregnancy sickness.

The Right Way To Change Migraine Medication For Pregnancy Safety

When Your Sick And Pregnant Does It Affect The Baby

The key to migraine management leading up to and during pregnancy is consistency; any changes that are made need to be made slowly, says Starling.

When we’re starting new medication, we usually start at a very low dose, and we increase slowly over time. If we’re deciding to discontinue a medication because someone is planning on getting pregnant, then we will typically reduce it slowly over time, she says.

It might sound scary to taper off a medication that has been working for you, says Starling. There are certain medications that are safe to use in the setting of pregnancy, and those that are not. I will always talk to my patients about family planning and reassure them that I will be there to support them through that journey, and that well come up with an alternative plan that will be safe, she says.

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When To Call Your Doctor

Headaches are common during pregnancy. While they’re painful, they’re usually nothing to worry about. However, headaches in pregnancy can sometimes be a warning sign of a more serious problem like preeclampsia.

Here’s what you need to know about the different types of headaches during pregnancy, how to recognize them, and what to do if you think your headache may be a sign of a dangerous complication.

What Are The Symptoms Of Migraine Headaches

The two most common types of migraines are classic migraines and common migraines. The following are the most common symptoms. However, each woman may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Migraine aura.;A type of migraine that involves the appearance of neurological symptoms, called an aura , 10 to 30 minutes before an attack. An attack may last one or two days. Pain associated with classic migraines may be described as:

  • Intense throbbing or pounding felt in the forehead, temple, ear, jaw, or around the eye.

  • Starting on one side of the head, but may spread to the other side.

  • Migraine without aura.;A type of migraine that is generally not preceded by an aura, although there may be a variety of symptoms prior to its onset. Common migraine pain may last three or four days. Symptoms may include:

  • Mental “fuzziness”

  • Diarrhea and increased urination

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • The symptoms of migraines may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

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    Are Migraines Dangerous During Pregnancy

    The only danger is when your headache may be a sign of something;else. You should ALWAYS call your health care provider when:

    • Your headache is accompanied by a fever
    • Your headache persists for more than a few;hours or returns frequently
    • You are experiencing blurred vision

    It is ALWAYS important to let your health care provider know when;you are experiencing any headaches and the details about them.

    Migraine With Aura In Pregnancy

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    If you experience migraine with aura you are more likely to continue to have attacks during your pregnancy. If you experience migraine for the first time while you are pregnant it is likely to be with aura.1

    If you do think you are having migraine for the first time while you are pregnant it is important to visit your GP so the causes for your headache can be checked and treated if necessary.

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    Timeline Of Early Pregnancy Symptoms

    While pregnancy tests and your practitioner can offer definitive answers, these early pregnancy symptoms may be clues that you’re expecting.

    Keep in mind, just because youve experienced some of these symptoms doesnt mean youre pregnant. You could also have none of them at all and still go on to have a perfectly healthy pregnancy.

    Migraines During Pregnancy: When Should You Worry

    Migraines may actually decrease in terms of severity and frequency during pregnancy. Research revealed that 50% to 75% of women who previously experienced migraine attacks showed marked improvement in their migraine symptoms during pregnancy. It also showed that these women experienced fewer and less severe migraines during pregnancy.

    Comparatively, migraine without aura can begin during pregnancy in up to 10% of women, research indicated. In about 8% of women, migraines become worse during pregnancy. Also, research revealed that roughly 25% of women who experience migraines without aura continue to experience migraine attacks throughout pregnancy.

    Some research indicates that migraines are possible predictors of pregnancy complications, such as miscarriage, pre-eclampsia and low birth weight. Yet it is important to note that well-controlled studies are necessary to determine if there is an exact correlation between migraines during pregnancy and any of the aforementioned pregnancy complications.

    On the other hand, pregnancy may affect the frequency and severity of a migraine attack. This is often the case in women with migraines without aura. Meanwhile, some women are prone to their first migraine attack during pregnancy or in the postpartum period. Migraine attacks sometimes increase in frequency during the first trimester of pregnancy, with fewer migraine attacks as a pregnancy progresses as well.

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    Is It A Headache Or Something Else

    It isnt always easy to tell what kind of headache youre having, but the most common types of headaches during pregnancy are tension-type headaches, migraines and cluster headaches.

    Tension headaches are the most common kind of headache in pregnant women. It can feel like someone is trying to squish your head like a watermelon. If you carry your stress in your shoulders and neck, you may be more susceptible to this kind of headache.

    Migraines are a particular type of headache that occur on one side of the head. For some women, migraines can get worse the first few months and then improve in later stages of pregnancy. For others, they may experience no change, decrease or difference in their migraines.

    Cluster headaches are less common but can occur during pregnancy. Youll suddenly have severe pain around your eyes or temples usually about the same time every day.

    The good news is that there are plenty of pregnancy-safe things you can do to prevent and relieve the most common pregnancy headaches.

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    13 Early Pregnancy Symptoms Before Missed Period

    Results from studies suggest that up to 80% of women who have migraine without aura experience improvement in migraine during pregnancy, particularly during the second and third trimesters.1-4 Since migraine without aura is often associated with falling levels of oestrogen, the reason for improvement in pregnancy is often considered to be the more stable levels of oestrogen. However, there are many physical, biochemical, and emotional changes in pregnancy that could also account for improvement, including increased production of natural painkillers known as endorphins, muscle relaxation, and changes in sugar balance. In contrast to migraine without aura, attacks of migraine with aura follow a different pattern during pregnancy as attacks are more likely to continue and aura may develop for the first time.5-7

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    What Is The Best Treatment For Migraine Pain

    The best treatment for migraine pain depends on the patient. For pregnant women coping with migraines, meeting with a physician provides a great starting point for treatment. Of course, for patients who are dealing with chronic migraines but find that their medications are ineffective or cause unwanted side effects, additional treatment options may be considered.

    Dr. Jonathan Cabin of The Migraine Institute offers comprehensive treatments to chronic migraine patients. He is a board-certified head and neck surgeon with dual subspecialty training in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, and he uses his unique expertise to provide a custom treatment for each chronic migraine patient. In doing so, Dr. Cabin helps chronic migraine patients identify the root cause of migraine pain and treat their migraine symptoms appropriately.

    Dr. Cabin is available to discuss migraine treatment options for individuals who previously received a chronic migraine diagnosis and are not satisfied with their migraine medications. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Cabin, please contact us online or call us today at 310.461.0303.


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