Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 289–294 | Cite as

Headaches During Pregnancy

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


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.


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



No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rossella E. Nappi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Francesca Albani
    • 3
  • Grazia Sances
    • 4
  • Erica Terreno
    • 1
  • Emanuela Brambilla
    • 1
  • Franco Polatti
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Center for Reproductive Medicine, Section of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Department of Morphological, Eidological and Clinical SciencesUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly
  2. 2.University Consortium for Adaptive Disorders and Head Pain (UCADH)University of PaviaPaviaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Internal Medicine and Endocrinology, IRCCS Maugeri FoundationUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly
  4. 4.Department of NeurologyHeadache Science Centre, IRCCS “C. Mondino” FoundationPaviaItaly

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