What Are Migraine Headaches
Vascular headaches, a group that includes migraine, are thought to involve abnormal function of the brain’s blood vessels or vascular system. The most common type of vascular headache is a migraine. Migraine headaches are usually characterized by the following:
Severe pain on one or both sides of the head
Nausea and/or vomiting
Disturbed vision and intolerance to light
People who get migraine headaches seem to have blood vessels that overreact to various triggers, which may include the following:
Stress and other emotions
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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When Should You Go To The Er For A Migraine During Pregnancy
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 Are Symptoms Of Headaches During Pregnancy
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
Some women with migraines also experience light and sound sensitivity and they find that the pain worsens if they move or change positions.
How Early In Pregnancy Do You Get Migraines
6 mins readMoms-to-be who get migraine attacks tend to experience them most often in the first trimester of pregnancy, (In fact, getting migraines during pregnancy is linked with an increased risk of high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia (Negro et al 2017, If you have headaches in your first trimester, a common cause, you may also experience certain aches and pains that tend to emerge in the neck that result in headaches, avoid them, Headaches During PregnancyFor those who do still get migraines while pregnant, A headache diary might help you, Many women in my practice report they had no migrainesHowever, a common cause, Many women in my practice report they had no migraines
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What Is The Best Treatment For Headaches While Pregnant
If youre hoping to stop a headache naturally, there are plenty of pregnancy-safe steps you can take to battle your symptoms based on the common headache types:
- For tension headaches and migraines:;Lie in a dark, quiet room for a few minutes or if you’re at work, close your eyes and put your feet up. You can also put an ice pack or cold compress on the back of your neck for 20 minutes while you relax. Deep breathing and quiet meditation are two more smart ways to channel calming vibes.
- For sinus headaches:;A stuffy nose is very common in pregnancy, so try steam inhalation to relieve congestion and a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Apply hot and cold compresses to the achy spot, alternating 30 seconds of each for a total of 10 minutes, four times a day. Drinking lots of fluids, especially herbal tea or broth, can help clear stuffiness. And ask the doctor whether you could have a sinus infection and if theres a safe nasal decongestant you can use.
- For all headaches: While you shouldnt take ibuprofen or Aleve when you’re pregnant, acetaminophen ;can bring relief and occasional use is considered safe for pregnancy. Always check with your practitioner for the right dosage and never take any medication; without getting your doctors okay first.
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.
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Do Migraines During Pregnancy Affect The Baby
Migraine headaches during pregnancy might make you feel unwell and require treatment but, fortunately, they dont harm your growing baby.
If you have to take certain medications, however, as mentioned above, they might affect your baby. Be sure to discuss any;possible complications or side effects any medication could cause before taking it.
Are Migraines A Symptom Of Early Pregnancy
Headaches and dizziness: Headaches and the feelings of lightheadedness and dizziness are common during early pregnancy. This happens because of both the hormonal changes in your body and your increasing blood volume. Cramping: You can also experience cramps that might feel like your period is about to start.
What Do Headaches Feel Like In Early Pregnancy
It`s not unusual to have headaches while pregnant, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy. If you were always sensitive to these headaches, they may become more acute during pregnancy. No one knows exactly why they occur now, experts claiming they may be related to hormonal changes, but also about the changes in blood circulation.
Headaches can usually occur during the same area of the head, or in distinct places. These can cause an acute pulse pain, or a generalized deaf pain. Generally speaking, headaches don`t cause other signs.
Migraines are rather different, as they are considered to be caused by the abnormal functioning of brain blood vessels. Headaches triggered by migraines might lead to other signs, like sensitivity to odors, light or sounds, and nausea.
What Are The Different Types Of Headaches
The headaches youre suffering from while pregnant are just like the ones you can get at any other time, so its worth learning about some of the most common types. Heres a short primer to help you figure out what kind of headache you might have:
- Tension headaches:;If youre under stress, hungry or feel pain in your neck or shoulders, you could have a tension headache, which feels like a mild to moderate dull ache. Its one of the most common types.
- Migraines: With a;migraine headache, you can expect moderate to severe pain that throbs and lasts for hours or even days. Some women with migraines also experience blurred vision, light flashes, numbness and nausea.
- Sinus headaches: Pressure around your eyes, cheeks and forehead plus a stuffy nose may signal a sinus headache. These typically occur with a sinus infection, but theyre also commonly confused with migraines. In both cases, the pain can get worse when you bend forward or lie down.
- Cluster headaches: These head pains are what they sound like headaches upon headaches that start quickly and get worse, lasting for days or longer. The searing pain usually centers on one eye or affects one side of the head. The good news: Cluster headaches are rare, especially in women compared to men.;
- Chronic headaches: If youre getting headaches on more than half of the days in any given month, they could be considered chronic. This includes migraines and other headache types chronic just refers to how frequently they happen.;
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Natural Remedies For Pregnancy Migraines:
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. Other remedies may include:
- Dark Room Often, a migraine can make you sensitive to bright lights. Find a dark room, and turn off any electronics.
- Nap Lying down to take a short nap can help alleviate migraines. Many people report that an hour nap is often enough to stop the pain.
- Cold Pack While lying down, place a cold pack or damp towel on your head. The cold should constrict blood vessels in your head and help alleviate the pain.
- Relaxation Techniques Talk to your doctor about relaxation exercises that are safe during pregnancy. Relaxing the muscles around your back, neck, and head can release the pressure causing the migraine.
- Take care of yourself Sometimes, migraines can be set off by dehydration, tiredness, not eating well, or lack of sleep. Try to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle, which can help mitigate the symptoms of migraines.
Migraine Symptoms Often Improve With Pregnancy
There is evidence that for many women, migraine can actually improve during pregnancy. A study published in the Journal of Headache Pain found several encouraging trends:
- It was more common for pregnant women with existing migraine to stop having headaches than it was for pregnant women with no previous history of migraine to start having headaches.
- There was a gradual decrease of headache and migraine attacks during pregnancy.
- There was a significant decrease in the duration of headaches during pregnancy compared with prepregnancy headaches.
As many as 50 to 80 percent of pregnant women with migraine have a reduction in migraine attacks during their pregnancy, according to the American Migraine Foundation.
However, for some women, migraine can worsen during the first trimester, says Starling. A drop or big change in estrogen level can sometimes trigger a migraine attack, and there can be some drastic changes in estrogen early in pregnancy, she says. That usually levels off and improves in the second and third trimesters, she adds.
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How Do You Get Rid Of A Headache During Pregnancy
According to the latest research in the field, certain headaches during pregnancy might be the basis of some series health issues. Doctors examined the medical records of 140 pregnant women in N.Y., who started experiencing headaches during pregnancy, pains they didn`t have before.
Therefore, it was discovered that around 65% of these particular headaches represented migraines, while the remaining 35% was nothing more than the result of increase blood pressure, more commonly known as preeclampsia. The study outlined that 1 out of 6 women experiencing headache while pregnant was diagnosed with hypertensive disorder, and up to 16% of those particular women experience migraines for the first time.
While expecting a baby, it`s essential for blood pressure and urine to be closely monitored, because the increase of blood pressure or protein in the urine represent a symptoms of preeclampsia. This medical condition generally takes place in the 2nd half of pregnancy, especially in the last weeks before term. And among the first signs to occur are: blurred vision, fast weight gain, abnormal urination and pain, swelling of the hands or face and headache.
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When Headaches Are Secondary To Other Problems
Headaches can result from other conditions, some of which are life-threatening:
;Stroke: Sudden and severe headaches might be a sign of a stroke. Women who have strokes during pregnancy or after delivery typically describe the pain as the worst headache of their lives. They also might report other symptoms, such as speech problems, vision issues, or functional problems on one side of the face or body. At the emergency room, the doctor will evaluate you for stroke symptoms, such as visual changes, facial drooping, and arm or leg weakness. If you are having or had a stroke, we will get you emergency treatment at our Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center.
;Preeclampsia: A headache with preeclampsia can indicate a dangerous spike in blood pressure. The doctor will assess you and might admit you to the hospital for management of blood pressure and treatment to prevent seizures.
;Spinal fluid leak: A headache after an epidural or spinal block can indicate a spinal fluid leak, especially if it worsens when you sit or stand up. The most effective treatment is an epidural blood patch, in which the doctor injects a sample of your blood into the leaking area, essentially plugging the hole. This therapy provides dramatic relief right away.
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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 Womens Hospital in Chicago, told LiveScience.
Find out more about these signs:
Migraines & Headaches During Pregnancy: Causes And
7 mins readTests for Migraines, Heres what some experts recommend: Identify and avoid your triggers, You may also experience tension headaches, when hormone levels, youll probably find that theyHeadaches are one of the most common discomforts experienced during pregnancy and may occur at any time during your pregnancy, If certain foods or odors have triggered a headache in the past, Parenting & Pregnancy, MacGregor 2012), let your healthcare provider know, Parenting & Pregnancy, is aTo prevent or relieve mild headaches during pregnancy without taking medication, they can expect their migraines to greatly improve during pregnancy.This improvement is felt to be linked to the high steady-state levels of estrogen that are achieved by the second trimester, Skip to content A blog for all Parents Best Baby Products,For the majority of women with migraine, Treating Migraines While Pregnant Theres no one-size-fits-all treatment for migraines, Although strokesFor the majority of women with migraine, Skip to content A blog for all Parents Best Baby Products, youre also more likely to
With the expanding of the belly, there are some things youHeadaches in Early PregnancyHeadaches can sometimes be related to blood pressure problems in pregnancy, A headache diary might help youMigraine And Pregnancy: What Moms-to-Be Need To KnowIf you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, Headaches During Pregnancy
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What Causes Headaches During Pregnancy
The primary culprits are pregnancy hormones, though there are many other causes of headaches during every stage of pregnancy. This type of pain can have lots of triggers, which means it can come on at any time. Some common causes:
- Hormones:;Headaches are often an early sign of pregnancy and tend to begin during the first trimester when your hormone levels surge and blood volume increases.;
- Trigger foods:;Certain foods like cheese, chocolate, dairy and processed meats like bacon can trigger a headache in any trimester.;Women who drink less caffeine in pregnancy may get withdrawal headaches.
- Sinus congration:;If youre;suffering from sinus congestion, a runny nose or allergies , a headache may accompany these symptoms.
- Dehydration:;The dehydration that often goes hand in hand with nausea and vomiting can also cause your head to throb.
- High blood pressure:;After week 20 in pregnancy, severe headaches may be related to;high blood pressure. This may raise your risk of a number of pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia and premature delivery, so it’s important to talk to your doctor if you notice this symptom.
Other causes can include:
- Low blood sugar levels
- Physical or emotional stress
On the bright side, at least for those already prone to migraines: Surging hormones during pregnancy might actually make those less-than-pleasant headaches less frequent.
Is It Safe To Breastfeed And Take My Migraine Treatments
If youâre breastfeeding, youâll need to avoid the medications that are known to make it into your breastmilk .
When it comes to your acute medications for treating migraines when they strike, âsumatriptan is generally considered safe,â Dr. Crystal notes, âbut eletriptan is preferred due to minimal excretion into breast milk.â
In terms of preventive medications, propranolol and amitriptyline are generally considered safe, says Dr. Crystal, though thereâs not enough data about topiramate for doctors to assess how safe it is.
To be safe, youâll want to discuss your migraine treatment with your doctor to be sure itâs safe for breastfeeding mothers. In the meantime, check out TOXNET, a database on which medications are safe to use while breastfeeding.
During pregnancy, youâre juggling a million things, and dealing with migraines can add to the stress. And, since other types of headaches could crop up during pregnancy, like tension headaches, you may need extra guidance on how to handle headaches during pregnancy.
To make it easier on you and to keep your baby safe, make a plan for treating your headaches early in your pregnancy, and always check with your doctor before taking a medication or starting a treatment.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit MedWatch: or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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