Navigation Links
Health-care professionals must be aware of rarer causes of headaches in pregnancy
Date:5/23/2014

Most headaches in pregnancy and the postnatal period are benign, but healthcare professionals must be alert to the rarer and more severe causes of headaches, suggests a new review published today (23 May) in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist (TOG).

The review looks at common causes for headaches during pregnancy and the postnatal period, possible conditions that may be associated with headaches and how healthcare professionals should manage the care of the woman appropriately.

There are 85 different types of headache. Approximately 90% of headaches in pregnancy are migraine or tension-type headaches. However, pregnancy can lead to an increased risk of certain secondary headaches, a headache caused by an underlying health condition, states the review.

The review states that most headaches in pregnancy are benign but in some cases can be more serious. According to the Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths in the United Kingdom 2006 2008 report[i], neurological conditions were the third most common cause of death, considering both direct and indirect causes. The authors of the review therefore emphasise the need for all medical staff to be well trained to take a full history and examination, make a provisional differential diagnosis and know when to seek neurological expertise.

Migraine is a common form of headache; the condition is more common in women, with the highest prevalence rates during the childbearing years. The review states that pregnancy leads to a reduction in the frequency and severity of attacks of migraines without aura, also known as a common migraine. However, women who do experience migraines have a more than two-fold increased risk of pre-eclampsia than those who do not. Women therefore need to be aware to consult a healthcare professional if their headache is different from their usual migraine, highlights the review.

Another condition associated with a headache in pregnancy is idiopathic intracranial hypertension, a build up of high pressure inside the skull, a rare condition but more prevalent in obese women of childbearing age. The condition may present for the first time in pregnancy and pre-existing disease tends to worsen in pregnancy. It can be fatal if it is not treated promptly as a medical emergency.

Pregnancy is also a recognised risk factor for cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT), the presence of a blood clot in the dural venous sinuses, which drain blood from the brain. Caesarean section, systematic infection, vomiting and anaemia increase the risk and headache is the most frequently (80 90%) occurring symptom in CVT and often the first symptom reported by patients.

The review also discusses imaging and advises that imaging of the brain should never be withheld because a woman is pregnant and women should be reassured that imaging is safe.

Kirsty Revell, Specialist Registrar, Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Princess Anne Hospital, Southampton and co-author of the review said:

"Headaches are common in life and in pregnancy. Most headaches are benign, for example migraine or tension headaches, but some headache types can be more serious and an indication that something is seriously wrong.

"It is vital that both GPs and obstetricians are aware of the signs and symptoms associated with these conditions and know when to seek advice from a specialist."

Jason Waugh, TOG Editor-in-chief added:

"Many women experience headaches during pregnancy and the postpartum period and most are managed by women themselves or within primary care.

"Women presenting with headaches in pregnancy and the postnatal period may be at home, on a maternity ward, in an antenatal clinic, at a tertiary referral centre or in an emergency department. All medical staff should be aware of the symptoms, signs and appropriate response to the rarer and more severe causes of headaches that continue to cause avoidable morbidity and mortality."


'/>"/>

Contact: Nicole Weingartner
sciencenewsroom@wiley.com
201-748-5808
Wiley
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Medical device, health professionals attend first national conference on value-driven engineering
2. Evolution Marketing Research Grows its Practice with Addition of Three Key Industry Professionals
3. Healthcare professionals must be aware of rarer causes of headaches in pregnancy
4. Aware, Inc. Reports First Quarter 2012 Financial Results
5. New study published on fertility awareness among American university students
6. Aware Provides Biometrics Software and Services for Three Large-Scale Border Management Systems
7. Aware, Inc. Reports Second Quarter 2012 Financial Results
8. Aware Announces Sale of Selected Patents
9. Scientists call policy-makers to be scale-aware
10. Eliza Corporation and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Drive Awareness and Healthier Behavior to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screenings by 45 Percent
11. Aware Announces Closing Of Sale Of Selected Patents
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/26/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their ... , The analysts forecast the global ... of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... of sectors such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... -- A new partnership announced today will help life ... a fraction of the time it takes today, ... insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient and ... rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and higi,s ... pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at local ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... 14, 2016 BioCatch ™, ... today announced the appointment of Eyal Goldwerger ... Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at a time ... the deployment of its platform at several of the ... which discerns unique cognitive and physiological factors, is a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... May 23, 2016 Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE ... announced that its Board of Directors has approved the payment ... quarter of 2016. The cash dividend of ... 29, 2016 to stockholders of record as of the close ... are subject to approval of the Board of Directors and ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... building management solutions and services based in Aurora, Ohio, has broken ground on ... business in the Research Triangle Park area, this new location solidifies a commitment ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 20, 2016 , ... ... that 10 of its most experienced veterinary clients have treated over 100 of their ... cutting edge technology to provide the highest level of care for their patients. ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... ... The recent recall by Costco and Trader Joes of 47 million pounds ... 2016(1), demonstrates the need for faster and more cost effective bio-threat detection to ensure ... , PathSensor’s latest solution uses a biosensor technology called CANARY®. CANARY®, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: