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Is My Headache a Migraine?
Symptoms of Migraine Headaches
Screening and Diagnosis for Migraines
Treatment Options for Migraines
What is The Treatment for Moderate or Severe Migraines?
Alternative Ways for Treating Migraines
How Can You Prevent or Avoid Migraines?
What Are Migraine Triggers?
Prophylactic Medications to Reduce or Avoid Migraines
Types of Migraines
Cryotherapy:  Ice Relief for Migraine Headaches
An Optical Migraine FAQ
Migraines and Pregnancy
The Art of Massaging Migraine Headaches
Migraine Headaches and the Weather
Menstrual Migraines
Migraines and the Smoking Connection
Well-Known Migraine Triggers
The Migraine-Aspartame Connection
Stress & the Migraine Sufferer
Sexually-Triggered Migraines
Eye Problems & Migraines
Fragrance Migraine Triggers
Treating Menstrual Migraines
Migraine Treatment:  A Natural Approach

Migraines and Pregnancy

Strangely, about 70 percent of women who get regular migraines report that this condition improves during pregnancy, with migraine attacks coming less often and being less severe. Thirty percent report that the condition does not improve, but either gets worse or remains the same. If you're one of the ones whose migraines are worse during pregnancy, this is probably because of a higher level of estrogen during the first trimester. You can usually improve this condition under the correct care of a neurologist or OB/GYN.

Normally, a migraine causes severe pain.But equally concerning for the pregnant woman is the nausea and vomiting that often comes with migraines.These should be treated in order to avoid placing stress on the unborn baby.

During the first trimester of pregnancy, Tylenol with codeine is the treatment that most doctors recommend. It's to be taken immediately when there are signs of an impending attack. During this time, it's possible to also be on prophylactic medication, another treatment option for migraines. Many doctors will place their patients on propranolol low dose, with 10 to 20 milligrams taken a day. In most cases, this low dose will work fine. In some instances when the doctor sees that this medicine won't be appropriate, he might suggest taking an anti-seizure drug. However, the risk to the mother and baby must and is evaluated before recommending an extreme treatment like that.

Of course, the standard treatment for most with migraines are triptans (such as Imitrex). Some pregnant women wonder if they can continue taking these. Generally, this is not a good idea. The option meantioned earlier, of Tylonol with codeine, is usually the first treatment option once the doctor knows a woman is pregnant. If this doesn't work and the woman's headaches remain severe, she should see a headache specialist.Please note that only a team of a neurologist and OB/GYN are qualified to determine if a woman can take triptan while she's pregnant.

In most cases, women should not take medication during pregnancy. However, with migraines, the extreme pain of the headache causes the woman's adrenaline level to rise. This in turn could increase the baby's heart rate as well as the mother's blood pressure.For this reason, it's often a better medical choice to treat the migraines than to let them continue unabated.Some doctors will even prescribe daily medicine for pregnant moms with severe pain accompanied by vomiting and nausea. This again is a decision that must be left to your headache specialist in conjunction with your OB/GYN.

What if you're not sure if your headaches are migraines?  Is it safe for a pregnant woman to get an MRI or CT scan?  The decision concerning the MRI should be left to the doctor. If he feels it's necessary, you can usually safely have an MRI done of your brain. However, a pregnant woman should never have a CT of her done. This uses X-rays, which most doctors agree might be unhealthy for the forming fetus

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