Migraine and Pregnancy

The Will Erwin Headache Research Foundation was founded with the mission to find a cure for cluster headaches and migraines as well as increase awareness about the different types of debilitating headaches and the lives of sufferers, and the available treatment options to those in need. The Foundation strives to remain a knowledge leader in the field and keep others informed of any changes and updates to the research associated with these debilitating headaches. One area of interest that is also commonly questioned is the impact pregnancy has on women who are currently pregnant, or planning a pregnancy.

How do Migraines impact pregnancy?

Migraine and several other headache disorders are much more common in the female population and are extremely predominant during the reproductive ages given the fluctuations of hormones. According to a multi-site study led by the Mayo Clinic, The Effect of Migraine on Pregnancy Planning: Insights From the American Registry for Migraine Research, many women who suffer from migraines avoided pregnancy because they believed there would be numerous negative effects, such as worsened migraines during pregnancy, more difficult pregnancies due to disability during migraine attacks, and migraine medication effects such as birth and developmental abnormalities.

However, previous studies suggest that migraine usually improves during pregnancy, particularly for patients who have migraine without aura, migraines that start with menarche, or menstrual migraines. About one-half to three-fourths of those with migraine noted improvements in migraines during pregnancy, including fewer occurrences and less intensity of attacks. The reduction of attacks occurred mostly during the second and third trimesters.

What are Migraine treatments during pregnancy?

A major concern for women who suffer from migraines and headaches is the potential negative effects of treatments on their child’s development and the risk of abnormalities at birth. However, it is generally believed that the overwhelming majority of pregnancies for migraine sufferers go without maternal and fetal risk; headache doctors and obstetricians consider some medications much safer than others. Each risk must be evaluated with your doctor and is determined on a case-by-case basis.

How can The Will Erwin Headache Research Foundation help?

The Will Erwin Headache Research Foundation strives to be a leading resource to the millions of people who suffer from migraines and debilitating headaches to provide knowledge and awareness of the impacts on everyday life and the available treatment options. The Foundation is dedicated to furthering migraine and headache research to find a cure to the pain for sufferers around the world. To help The Foundation in its mission, please consider contributing today.