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Women Who Suffer From This Pregnancy Symptom Are More Likely to Have a C-Section

Be sure to flag it for your OB if you experience this common pregnancy pain.
ByStephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Updated
July 1, 2019
pregnant woman at the store looking in the medication aisle
Image: Tang Ming Tung / Getty Images

Pregnant women who suffer from migraines may have an increased risk of experiencing pregnancy complications, including c-sections, researchers say. The study was published in the journal Headache and carried out by the Department of Clinical Epidemiology at Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark. Other complications linked to severe heachaches are high blood pressure, preterm births and babies with low birth weight.

Researchers used Danish health registers to identify more than 22,000 pregnant women who were in touch with a hospital because of their migraines, or had received at least two prescriptions for migraine medication. The women were compared to a 10 times larger group of expectant moms without known migraine problems. They found c-section risk is between 15 to 25 percent higher for moms-to-be with migraines compared to those without. Additionally, researchers think migraine medication may alleviate some of the pregnancy complications. They believe the complications may be caused by the migraine itself rather than the medication. However, women should still tread with caution and consult their doctor before taking any medication.

If you experience the occasional migraine, don’t sweat it. Unfortunately, migraines are pretty common, and while the cause for them remains unknown, research suggests they may be triggered by stress, fatigue or hormonal changes such as pregnancy. The study’s lead author, Nils Skajaa, BSc, says healthcare professionals should keep migraines in mind when working with a pregnant patient. And if you have a baby on the way and are suffering from frequent migraines, be sure to put it on your OB’s radar.

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