Headaches during pregnancy

Rossella E. Nappi, Francesca Albani, Grazia Sances, Erica Terreno, Emanuela Brambilla, Franco Polatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Among primary headaches, migraine is the form more sensitive to the ovarian hormonal milieu. Migraine without aura (MO) benefits from the hyperestrogenic state of pregnancy and the lack of hormonal fluctuations, while migraine with aura (MA) presents distinctive features. Indeed, a very strong improvement of MO has been documented across gestation, and only a minority of pregnant women still suffers during the third trimester. On the other hand, fewer women with MA report improvement or remission, and new onset of aura may be observed during pregnancy. After delivery, breastfeeding exerts a protective action on migraine recurrence. The persistence of migraine during gestation seems to affect neonatal outcomes, and several studies indicate a link between migraine and an increased risk of developing gestational hypertension/preeclampsia and other vascular complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-294
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Pain and Headache Reports
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


  • Aura
  • Cardiovascular risk
  • Cerebrovascular risk
  • Gestational hypertension
  • Headache
  • Ischemic disease
  • Lactation
  • Low birth weight
  • Migraine
  • Placental abruption
  • Postpartum
  • Preeclampsia
  • Pregnancy
  • Preterm birth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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