Pregnancy, most of the times, comes with related health conditions and changes in our body structure. Apart from the fact that women get tired more easily, have their feet swollen, gain weight, have mood shifts, women oftentimes experience headaches as well.
Being pregnant most of the times means being extremely vigilant for something wrong, while trying not to overreact. So if a woman gets an extremely severe headache, she must know if it’s worth calling the doctor or it’s just a natural reaction of the body after a highly stressful day, worrying about this and that.
A new study suggests that among 140 women who went to the hospital for a severe headache, just over a third had a secondary condition besides the very headache and a half of them were facing a hypertensive condition of pregnancy, such as preeclampsia. The rest of 35% only had a migraine but many of those symptoms were quite the same.
Researchers tried to go deeper into the matter and find out what the exact cause of the migraines was. There was a possibility that the pains appeared due to a related affection in the body, which could cause important health problems to the new born. As researchers stated, only sound sensitivity stood out as a symptom linked to migraines and not to headaches with secondary conditions.
“It is important for pregnant patients to realize that a mild headache may actually be a symptom of a very dangerous potentially life-threatening condition called preeclampsia, and full evaluation to rule out preeclampsia is needed”, researchers have highlighted.
Dr. Matthew S. Robbins, director of inpatient services at Montefiore Headache Center has conducted a study along with fellow doctors to reveal the exact reasons why headaches appear in pregnant women in their third semester of pregnancy. They gathered medical records from 140 pregnant women around the age of 29, who were referred to Weiler Hospital for neurological consultation. A total number of 91 women had primary headaches and 49 women reported secondary headaches.
Primary headaches include tension-type and cluster while secondary headaches are most of the times the result of serious diseases.
The research team has discovered a number of signals that pointed to a headache potentially being a much more serious issue. For instance, women with secondary headaches which are accompanied by high blood pressure, face a 17 times increased risk for an underlying condition, especially preeclampsia.
It is clear that severe headache in pregnant women could signal greater problems, reason why the soon to become mothers must immediately call their doctor once they encounter the health issue.
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