Headaches are fairly common during pregnancy, thanks to all the hormonal and body changes occurring at the time. However, what isn’t common is the mind-numbing pain, nausea and sensitivity to light and sound along with a headache. It may be a migraine and can point to a serious complication such as preeclampsia. But how exactly can you tell the difference between a normal headache and a potentially risky one? Here are tips to treat pregnancy migraines:
Women who experienced migraines before they were pregnant can see a change in their pattern during pregnancy. They may occur more frequently, become more intense or you may experience new symptoms along with migraines. These changes are usually caused due to higher levels of estrogen. The same estrogen can also reduce or even stop migraines in some women when they’re pregnant. Some of them can have migraines, even if they never had one before pregnancy. It isn’t clear as to why this happens but it is likely that migraines are triggered by factors like sleep deprivation and stress. Read these tips to treat pregnancy migraines if you’re suffering from it.
When migraines are a problem
Research and studies have linked pregnancy migraines to certain serious pregnancy complications. A study published in the journal Neurology found that women who had high blood pressure and severe headache were 17 times more likely to experience pregnancy complications like preeclampsia.
Around 5 to 8 percent of all pregnancies are affected by preeclampsia. It may lead to preterm birth and low birth weight of the baby. It is also one of the leading causes of maternal and infant illness, and even death, across the world. According to the study, those who had no history of headaches also had a high chance of complications from migraines. Yet another study revealed that women over 35 years of age were seven times more likely to have complications like preeclampsia, preterm delivery and low birth weight.
It is unknown as to why women are at an increased risk for complications due to migraines. One of them may be the fact that migraines are associated with other cardiovascular conditions like high blood pressure, anxiety and depression. They are also associated with endothelial dysfunction, which is the same related underlying dysfunction as preeclampsia.
When to Call Your Doctor
Even if headaches and migraines are common during pregnancy, call your doctor if:
- You have never experienced migraines or severe headaches in the past
- Your migraines last longer than 24 hours
- They are accompanied by nausea and vomiting
- You have numbness or tingling sensation in your face or arms
- You experience vision change and pain in the upper right part of your abdomen
Preeclampsia can develop quickly, sometimes even within a 24-hour time period. It is best not to ignore any a severe headache that you experience and get it checked out by your doctor.
If you suffer from migraines, meet our team of doctors at KIMS Cuddles to know more about tips to treat pregnancy migraines.
**Information shared here is for general purpose. Please take doctors’ advice before taking any decision.