Is Migraine Linked to Pregnancy Complications?

Is Migraine Linked to Pregnancy Complications?

According to a 2019 study, pregnant women who experience migraine attacks are more likely to experience specific issues, such as having high blood pressure when pregnant, which can escalate to preeclampsia, having a low birth weight baby, and having a cesarean delivery.

According to a preliminary study, migraine sufferers may be at a higher risk of pregnancy issues such as preterm labor, prenatal hypertension, and preeclampsia. Researchers also discovered that women who have migraine with aura may be at a little increased risk of preeclampsia than women who do not have migraine with aura. Auras are feelings that occur before to a headache and are frequently visual disturbances such as flashing lights.

Preeclampsia is characterized by high blood pressure together with additional symptoms such as protein in the urine during pregnancy, and it can endanger the mother and baby’s lives. According to a preliminary study released today, February 24, 2022, women with migraine may be at a higher risk of pregnancy complications such as preterm delivery, gestational high blood pressure, and preeclampsia. The study will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 74th Annual Meeting, which will be held in person in Seattle, April 2 to 7, 2022, and virtually, April 24 to 26, 2022.

Approximately 20% of women of reproductive age suffer from migraine, but the influence of migraine on pregnancy outcomes is unknown. Our big prospective study discovered correlations between migraine and pregnancy difficulties, which could help alert clinicians and migraine sufferers about potential hazards to be aware of throughout pregnancy.

Alexandra Purdue-Smithe

Researchers also discovered that women who have migraine with aura may be at a little increased risk of preeclampsia than women who do not have migraine with aura. Auras are feelings that occur before to a headache and are frequently visual disturbances such as flashing lights. Preeclampsia is characterized by high blood pressure together with additional symptoms such as protein in the urine during pregnancy, and it can endanger the mother and baby’s lives.

“Approximately 20% of women of reproductive age suffer from migraine, but the influence of migraine on pregnancy outcomes is unknown,” stated research author Alexandra Purdue-Smithe, Ph.D., of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “Our big prospective study discovered correlations between migraine and pregnancy difficulties, which could help alert clinicians and migraine sufferers about potential hazards to be aware of throughout pregnancy.”

Almost a 20-year span, researchers examined over 30,000 pregnancies in about 19,000 women for the study. Of those pregnancies, 11% of the women claimed that they had been diagnosed with migraine by a doctor prior to pregnancy. Preterm birth, defined as a baby born before 37 weeks gestation, gestational diabetes, gestational high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and low birth weight were all investigated by the researchers.

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Is migraine tied to complications in pregnancy?

After controlling for age, obesity, and other behavioral and health factors that may influence the risk of complications, researchers discovered that women with migraine had a 17 percent higher risk of preterm delivery, a 28 percent higher risk of gestational high blood pressure, and a 40 percent higher risk of preeclampsia when compared to women without migraine. Preterm births occurred in 10% of the 3,881 pregnancies among migraine women, compared to 8% of pregnancies among migraine women.

Pregnancy-related elevated blood pressure occurred in 7% of migraine-affected women’s pregnancies, compared to 5% of migraine-affected women’s pregnancies. Preeclampsia occurred in 6% of pregnancies among migraine women, compared to 3% of pregnancies among women who did not have migraine.

Furthermore, when migraine with and without aura were compared, women with migraine with aura were 51% more likely to develop preeclampsia during pregnancy than women without migraine, whereas migraine without aura were 29% more probable. Migraine was not linked to gestational diabetes or low birthweight, according to the study’s findings.

“While the odds of these issues are still fairly low overall,” Purdue-Smithe said, “women with a history of migraine should be aware of and discuss with their doctor about potential pregnancy hazards. More research is required to determine why migraine may be related with an increased risk of problems. In the meantime, pregnant women who suffer from migraine may benefit from greater monitoring so that complications such as preeclampsia can be diagnosed and treated as soon as feasible.”

Although migraine history was recorded prior to pregnancy, information on migraine aura was not obtained until much later in the study, when many of the pregnancies had ended. As a result, the findings for migraine aura may have been influenced by participants’ ability to recall their experiences accurately. Another issue was the lack of information on migraine attack frequency and other migraine characteristics. More research is needed to overcome these limitations and better explain how pregnant women with a migraine history should be assessed and managed for potential pregnancy problems.

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