Headaches in pregnancy

A common symptom of early pregnancy, headaches can be draining and frustrating.

Find out more about why we suffer from headaches during pregnancy, what causes them and when to seek medical help.

What causes headaches during pregnancy?

Headaches are very common in early pregnancy due to an increase in hormones. A change in blood pressure can also lead to tension headaches when pregnant.

Women who suffered from headaches or migraines before falling pregnant may find their headaches get worse and for others, they improve throughout pregnancy.

Caffeine withdrawal, lack of fresh air, dehydration and stress can all contribute to headaches throughout pregnancy.

How long will they last?

Pregnancy headaches are prominent in the first trimester but for most will improve or even disappear by the second trimester as your hormones start to settle.

Severe headaches or migraines can last between four and 72 hours at any one time without treatment and can bring a whole host of symptoms along with the headache. Sufferers may experience speech disruption, visual impairment and pins and needles.

When to seek help

Your doctor can advise you on pain relief options safe for pregnancy. Severe headaches or migraines can indicate high blood pressure which can suggest complications such as pre-eclampsia. Should you suffer from severe or frequent headaches, contact your doctor immediately.

For more information on the treatment of headaches during pregnancy see how to relieve headaches during pregnancy. If you are at all concerned do not hesitate to call your GP or doctor for medical advice.

Pregnancy symptoms | Weight gain | Early signs of pregnancy | Tiredness | Morning Sickness | Bloating | Needing to wee more | Implantation bleeding | Pre-eclampsia | Thrush | Piles | Heartburn | SPD | Diarrhea | Pregnancy hormones | Metallic taste | Constipation | Breast tenderness

Where to now?

Pregnancy Week by Week

Pregnancy Week by Week
Read our week by week pregnancy guide for updates on baby’s development, pregnancy tips and articles on preparing for baby.

Relieve headaches in pregnancyRelieve headaches in pregnancy
Read our article on how to relieve headaches throughout your pregnancy

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