The risks of women with migraine during pregnancy

Gianni Allais, Ilaria Castagnoli Gabellari, Paola Borgogno, Cristina De Lorenzo, Chiara Benedetto
Neurological Sciences 2010, 31 Suppl 1: S59-61
Most epidemiological studies demonstrate that women suffering from migraine note a significant improvement in their headaches during pregnancy. Both headache specialists and gynecologists commonly hold that migraine does not involve any risks to either the mother, or the fetus. Despite this, recent studies into the medical complications of pregnancy in migrainous women have cast doubts on this assumption. Indeed, most of these studies have revealed a significant association between migraine and hypertension in pregnancy (i.e. preeclampsia and gestational hypertension). Migraine has also been recently postulated as one of the major risk factors for stroke during pregnancy and the puerperium. Therefore, there is an urgent need for prospective studies on large numbers of pregnant women to determine the real existence and extent of the risks posed by migraine during pregnancy. In the meantime, while awaiting verification of this hypothesis, a pregnant woman with migraine must be subject to a particularly attentive screening by both the obstetrician and the headache specialist.

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