Headaches during a pregnancy are common, however, the diagnosis and management can be difficult. It is reported by up to 80% of women during their pregnancies.
Most headaches are migraines or tension headaches. It is very rare for a headache to signal a life threatening condition, however, this is still of major concern.
Types of Headache
|common in pregnancy|
common in pregnancy
uncommon in pregnancy
|Hypertension, pre-eclampsia, subarachnoid haemorrhageMeningitis, tumours|
Tooth, eye, neck conditions
Symptoms which may need more urgent review:
- Sudden onset headache, or significant change in chronic headache
- Neurological signs or symptoms (visual changes, walking and speech changes)
- Change in level of consciousness
- Neck stiffness
- History of recent head trauma
- History of hypertension
If there are any of the symptoms listed above, you should seek urgent medical review. Further investigations may be required depending on the symptoms.
Medications that can be used for headache during pregnancy include paracetamol, caffeine, morphine, maxalon, metoprolol and prednisone.
Anti-inflammatories such as neurofen and migraine specific medications are not recommended during pregnancy.