Myth or truth?


“Migraine goes away during pregnancy”


Migraine, especially menstrual migraine, can improve dramatically during pregnancy. It is important to understand, however, that migraine does not just go away. Migraine attacks may become less frequent, but the underlying disorder is always present. Some women actually experience more frequent attacks during pregnancy because they must stop taking medication for the pain. It is very important that your migraine is well controlled before you become pregnant.

Migraine during Pregnancy

Q: Is migraine different in any way during pregnancy?
A: It is important to understand that having migraine does not cause harm during pregnancy. Many women with migraine become attack-free during pregnancy. In others, the attacks decrease dramatically, especially during the second and third trimesters. However, not every woman gets better. Some may have more frequent attacks or the frequency of attacks stays the same as before pregnancy.
Q: How can I know if my migraine will get better during pregnancy?
A: Your migraine is more likely to get better during pregnancy if your attacks are associated with menstruation. It is important to control your migraine before pregnancy since most migraine medications cannot be used during pregnancy. Women who often use medications for migraine are likely to have more attacks while pregnant because they must stop their medications.
Q: What happens to my migraine after I have the baby?
A: During the first week following the birth of the baby, approximately 40 percent of women with migraine have an attack. The migraine frequently happens between day 3 and day 6 after delivery. As with menstruation, hormone changes trigger the migraine attack. Sleep disruption, or a change in eating habits or in a woman’s schedule related to the baby’s arrival, may also act as migraine triggers.
Q: Can I take medication for my migraine during pregnancy?
A: Most medications for migraine must be avoided during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Hence, controlling migraine attacks with lifestyle changes is vital at these times. There are some medications that may be used, but you must consult your obstetrician and pediatrician first.
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