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Why Do I Have A Migraine While Pregnant

Pregnancy And Migraine Medication

Migraines, Anxiety, and Depression While Pregnant

Pregnant women have to be very careful about what they put into their bodies, which is also true for most migraine medications. Women in early stages of pregnancy and on migraine medication should call their doctor as soon as they learn that theyre expecting. For women who do experience migraine attacks during pregnancy, some medications are safe for pregnant women to use, including Benadryl and Tylenol, but call your doctor to confirm. An obstetrician should work quite closely on a treatment plan with a mom-to-bes migraine management team, whether that includes a primary care physician, neurologist, headache specialist, or someone else. Of course, migraine and the experiences of pregnancy vary from person to person. Women who have their headaches accompanied by aura may not see the same improvement other migraine sufferers do, Robbins said.

What Is A Migraine

A type of vascular headache, migraines produce severe, recurring pain and their exact cause is unknown.

In the event of a vascular headache, the blood vessels in your brain widen and stimulate a pain response. In contrast, tension headaches have more complex origins, generally unrelated to vascular disturbances.

Most migraine sufferers get one or two headaches a month, while chronic sufferers report having roughly 15 migraine days a month.

Theories on the root cause of migraines vary. Changes in your brains nerve pathways could play a significant role. The release of chemicals by your brain cells can irritate blood vessels and sometimes leads to swelling. Estrogen levels must also be taken into account since headache patterns tend to change during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause.

Nsaids And Opioids May Increase The Risk For Birth Defects Or Miscarriage

The use of NSAIDs should be avoided at certain times during a pregnancy. To avoid any confusion about when theyre safe and when theyre not, Starling suggests that pregnant women avoid them altogether.

NSAIDs include medications such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen.

A study published in October 2017 in the Annals of Epidemiology found that women who took NSAIDs and opioid pain medicines during early pregnancy were more likely to have babies with certain birth defects compared with women who took acetaminophen.

NSAID use early in pregnancy is also linked with increased risk of miscarriage, and the risk is higher for women with a lower BMI, according to a 2018 study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

A safety warning issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2020 recommends that pregnant women avoid NSAIDs at 20 weeks or later because they can result in low amniotic fluid and may cause rare kidney problems in unborn babies.

The FDA advises that women discuss any medication or supplement they are currently taking with their doctor to make sure its safe to take while pregnant or while trying to get pregnant.

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What Are Possible Complications Of Migraines

If you have a history of migraine headaches, and have no other health problems, migraines during pregnancy are not usually a concern.

But if a first-time migraine-like headache occurs in pregnancy, it’s important to check for any other type of condition that may be dangerous. This includes bleeding in the brain, meningitis, high blood pressure, or tumors. You may need further testing to find the cause of the headache. This testing may include urine and blood tests.

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Online Medical Reviewer: Donna Freeborn PhD CNM FNPHeather M Trevino BSN RNCIrina Burd MD PhD

Date Last Reviewed: 7/1/2021

Why Do I Get Headaches From Eating Ice Cream

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We don’t understand completely what causes the throbbing head or face pain that some people feel when they take a bite of ice cream or swallowing other cold substances. It most likely has to do with the sudden cold shock sent to the warm tissues of the mouth and throat. Sensations of discomfort are then carried by various nerves from the front of the mouth and the back of the throat to other parts of the head, and lasts less than five minutes. Although there is no treatment for these types of headaches, you can avoid them. Eat more slowly and in smaller amounts. Allow ice cream to melt in your mouth before swallowing, this helps cool off the warm tissues in your mouth gradually.

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What Can I Do To Prevent Migraines

One of the best ways to prevent migraines is to recognize what triggers an attack and trying to avoid them. For example, stress, eating certain foods or lack of sleep may bring on an attack.

Avoiding your triggers can be difficult when youre pregnant. For example, if you have morning sickness you may not feel like eating or drinking much. This can cause low blood sugar or dehydration, so its important to try and find ways to cope.

Getting enough sleep may also be difficult during pregnancy. Try our tips for a better nights sleep.

You should also try to

  • rest and relax as much as possible. You could try things like mindfulness or yoga.

When Should I Call A Doctor Or Midwife About A Headache In Pregnancy

Call your midwife, doctor or hospital maternity unit if you have a very bad headache or a headache that wont go away. This could be a symptom of pregnancy induced hypertension. This is a type of high blood pressure that develops after 20 weeks and goes away within 6 weeks of the baby’s birth. Its also known as gestational high blood pressure or gestational hypertension.

Call your midwife, doctor or hospital straight away if you have a headache and vision problems and sudden swelling on your hands, feet, face or stomach. This could be a sign of pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy condition that can be dangerous for you and the baby if it is not monitored and treated.

  • discomfort in the lowest part of your stomach
  • back pain
  • loin pain
  • needing to wee a lot or an uncontrollable need to wee
  • cloudy, foul-smelling or bloody wee
  • a raised temperature
  • feeling sick and vomiting.

This could be a sign of a urinary tract infection. UTIs cab be treated with antibiotics that are safe to use in pregnancy.

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Can The Foods I Eat Be Causing My Headaches

It’s possible. Certain foods including those that contain tyramine or nitrites commonly trigger migraine headaches. Chocolate and alcohol are also common triggers in some people. So are some fruits, yogurt, MSG, and freshly-baked breads. However, there does not appear to be a causal link between food and tension headaches. So, if you find that giving up a particular food makes your headache go away, chances are you had a migraine.

Migraine Medications That Are Safe During Pregnancy

Headache during Pregnancy

Thanks to stable levels of migraine-preventive estrogen that occur during pregnancy, women who frequently experience these debilitating headaches often get a reprieve from them when they’re expecting. For those in the minority who still get migraines, the question of how to treat them is an important one. While there are several effective medications for the treatment of migraines, not all are considered safe for a developing baby.

Migraine painif experienced during pregnancyis often severe enough to require medication. Sometimes other migraine symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, also must be treated with drugs as well.

Fortunately, there are a number of effective migraine medications that the Food and Drug Administration considers safe to take during pregnancy. Before reaching for your regular prescription, make sure that it is included in this list . If it’s not, discuss these safer options with your healthcare provider.

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What Happens During A Migraine Attack

Many scientists believe that migraine headaches occur when arteries to the brain constrict, then dilate, resulting in the throbbing pain of a migraine headache. It isn’t known what causes the blood vessels to constrict and dilate, but abnormally low blood levels of a chemical substance called serotonin may trigger the contractions. Migraine attacks can be disabling. More than 80% of migraine sufferers report at least some headache-related disability: 50% or more report mild or moderate disability, such as being unable to work or engage in usual daily activities and about 30% report severe disability, sometimes requiring bed rest.

I Seem To Be Waking Up Earlier And Earlier Is It Normal To Sleep Fewer Hours As You Get Older

Yes. The amount of sleep needed is largely influenced by age. As we grow older, not only do we require less hours of sleep, but also less deep sleep. In fact, we need half as much deep sleep in our 60s as we did in our 20s. Also, the number of awakenings during the night increases as we age. If you find yourself waking too early and feeling tired by late afternoon, try going to sleep a bit later and getting up at the same time each morning. Avoid taking naps during the daytime. Keep in mind that the amount of sleep needed for each individual varies and changes, and feeling refreshed and alert after a good night’s sleep may have nothing to do with quantity just quality of the sleep you’re getting.

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Whos At Risk For Migraines During Pregnancy

As many as 20 percent of pregnant women report having migraine headaches. Even with no prior history of migraines, you might experience your first attack during pregnancy.

Interestingly, how often these headaches present during pregnancy varies among people who got migraines before becoming pregnant. While 6070 percent show noticeable improvement during pregnancy, roughly 5 percent claim their migraines increased in severity.

As many as 20 percent of pregnant women report having migraine headaches. Even with no prior history of migraines, you might experience your first attack during pregnancy.

For people who get fewer migraines, the improvement is possibly related to the absence of monthly menstruation. Migraines which occur right before your period are triggered by a drop in estrogen levels. This may be why for some pregnant women, no menstruation means no migraines.

Ethics Approval And Consent To Participate

Can Diarrhea During Pregnancy Cause Miscarriage?

This is a prospective audit of patients treated at a tertiary headache centre in a real-life setting. Ethical approval was not required as the treatment given was based on the clinical needs. The clinical care did not involve anything being done to patients beyond their normal clinical management. The choice of whether to continue or stop onabotulinumtoxinA was made by the patient after careful and detailed counselling and appraisal on the risk-benefit evaluation. Patient, however, did sign a disclaimer that a formal appraisal had taken place and was documents in patients notes.

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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.

Is It Common To Have Pregnancy Second Trimester Headaches

Headaches are a common pregnancy symptom. Researchers say that 39% of pregnant and postpartum women have headaches.

Headaches tend to be worse in the first trimester and improve during the second and third trimester. But some women still get headaches in their second trimester. About 4% to 8% of women say their pregnancy headaches get worse after the first trimester.

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What Medications Can Pregnant Women Safely Take For Migraines

If youâre not lucky enough to experience fewer migraines during pregnancy, what can you do to treat them? It turns out that, while pregnant, many prescription and over-the-counter medications are considered unsafe or risky, or just havenât been researched enough for doctors to be confident making a recommendation.

According to Dr. Crystal, âacetaminophen and metoclopramide , which can help relieve nausea and pain, are the safest medications to take.â She adds that some obstetricians may prescribe ondansetron to treat severe nausea âand consider it to be safe.â

That being said, Dr. Crystal notes that it is always best to take the lowest effective dose, even of approved medications.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen are not safe in the first or third trimesters. Similarly, you should not take naproxen while pregnant. It may be safe during the second trimester, but only if specifically approved by your doctor.

Dr. Crystal adds that while many obstetricians will advise against using triptans while pregnant, they could be safe when used occasionally. Doctors may prescribe opiates for severe headaches while youâre pregnant, but they âmust be used sparingly,â she says.

Check with your doctor before taking any migraine treatment, to be sure theyâre safe for you and your pregnancy.

How Can I Treat A Migraine Attack While Pregnant

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For migraine attacks that occur during pregnancy, there are several nonspecific migraine medication options, meaning they were not designed specifically to treat migraine, says Starling.

If a medication is needed, usually my first choice is to start the patient with Tylenol and sometimes combine that with the drug Reglan , she says.

Metoclopramide is typically used as an anti-vomiting medication, but it actually has benefits for stopping the migraine attack itself, and that, in combination with the acetaminophen, can be really helpful, she says.

Sometimes I’ll even add a little bit of Benadryl in there, too, because that can help with providing some sleepiness or sedation. The idea is that the combination can help someone take a nap, and when she wakes up, the migraine attack will hopefully be done, says Starling.

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How Are Migraine Headaches Managed In Pregnancy

If a woman has a history of migraine headaches, and there are no other health problems, migraines during pregnancy are not usually a concern. However, if a first-time migraine-like headache occurs in pregnancy, it is important to rule out any other type of condition that may be dangerous, such as bleeding in the brain, meningitis , or tumors. Further testing may be needed to determine the cause of the headache.

Treatment of migraines in pregnancy may include soothing and nondrug measures, such as cold packs, a darkened room, and sleep. Avoiding triggers, such as certain foods and stress, may also be helpful. Medications must be carefully chosen because many drugs pass through the placenta to the developing fetus. Small doses of caffeine and acetaminophen are generally safe, but only as advised by your doctor. Avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Drugs that can be used include acetaminophen, promethazine, and opioid pain relievers, such as morphine. However, limit the use of opioid pain relievers because of the potential for addiction of the mother and baby. Consult your doctor for more specific information regarding treatment for migraines during pregnancy.

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I Always Get Headaches Right Before My Period Is There A Connection

There could be. Headache activity is influenced by fluctuations in the menstrual-related hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone. This can lead to headaches around the time of menstruation or mid-cycle, during ovulation. Premenstrual headaches, which may strike as migraines or tension-type, afflict 10 million American women.

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What Causes Menstrual Migraine

There is a link between migraine and falling levels of the hormone oestrogen. The natural drop in oestrogen levels before your period starts is linked to menstrual migraine. Women who have heavy and painful periods have higher levels of prostaglandin , which has also been identified as playing a role in a menstrual migraine.

When Do Migraines First Occur

When Your Sick And Pregnant Does It Affect The Baby

Migraine headaches may first occur at a relatively young age, with the peak onset between eight and 12 years of age among males and between 13 and 17 years of age among females. The peak age for incidence is between 30 and 39 years of age. Migraines may occur less frequently and with less severity after the age of 50.

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Migraine Treatment During Pregnancy

For safe, effective relief of migraines during pregnancy, consider using acetaminophen. In the U.S., 70 percent of pregnant women take acetaminophen. Using it in moderation is considered safe during pregnancy.

Natural remedies for migraines include placing a cold compress on your forehead, lying down in a dark room, and getting as much rest as possible.

However, some studies have reported a link between long-term acetaminophen use and ADHD in babies. So if you suffer from chronic migraines and prefer to steer clear of medications altogether, non-drug treatment options are available.

Natural remedies for migraines include placing a cold compress on your forehead, lying down in a dark room, and getting as much rest as possible. Maintain stable meal and sleep patterns, and try to avoid common triggers. Consider keeping a migraine diary to identify triggers such as emotional stress or eating chocolate or aged cheeses.

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

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