Migraines and pregnancy: Any connection?

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Migraines and pregnancy: Any connection?

Question

Is there any connection between onset of migraines and pregnancy? Will the migraines go away after I have the baby?

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Answer

In women with no prior history of migraines, about 1 percent to 2 percent have their first migraine during pregnancy. The cause isn't clear, but it may be due to hormonal changes in pregnancy.

In women with a history of migraine headaches, about 50 percent to 80 percent have significant improvement during pregnancy — usually by the end of the first trimester. A small number of women — approximately 4 percent to 8 percent — experience worsening of migraine headaches in pregnancy.

No large studies have examined the course of migraines that first occur in pregnancy. Whether or not migraines continue after delivery (postpartum) depends on the individual. You and your doctor will simply have to wait and see. If your migraines do recur postpartum, treatment may include pain relievers or medications to reduce or prevent migraines. Some medications used to treat migraines aren't recommended if you're pregnant or breast-feeding.

Last Updated: 06/05/2006
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