Study: Pregnant Women With Migraine at Higher Risk of Complications


The researchers noted that during high-risk pregnancies, special monitoring and care throughout the pregnancy is mandatory.

A study presented at the 7th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology has found that pregnant women who experience migraines are more likely to undergo obstetric and postnatal complications.

The researchers analyzed the pregnancies of 145,102 women in Israel between 2014 and 2020, with the first pregnancy in the period per woman. The team focused on the mode of delivery, medical, and obstetric complications in each trimester and the use of medications throughout the pregnancy. They found 12,222 women who experienced migraines and 1576 who had migraine with aura.

The results showed that pregnant women with migraines had a higher risk of developing obstetric and post-partum complications, in addition to an increased risk of admission to high-risk departments, according to the study. In terms of gestational diabetes, patients who were pregnant with migraine had a significantly increased risk of the disease, as well as hyperlipidemia and blood clots. While in labor, women who suffered from migraines had higher rates of epidural anesthesia but were not at an increased risk of assisted deliveries, according to the study.

"Our study confirms that women who suffer from migraine are at a greater risk of a host of medical and obstetric complications,” said lead study author, Nirit Lev, MD, PhD, in a press release. “As such, we are recommended that these women should be classed as 'high-risk' pregnancies and should therefore be treated according to a high-risk protocol."

The researchers noted that during high-risk pregnancies, special monitoring and care throughout the pregnancy is mandatory. Further, advanced maternal age, women carrying more than 1 baby, and previous complications arising during a previous pregnancy can contribute to an elevated risk. Diabetes, epilepsy, and high-blood pressure can also put women in the high-risk category, according to the study.

"Migraine sufferers were also found to have a greater risk of developing depression during their pregnancy and after giving birth," Lev said in the press release. "As a result, they should also be offered a neurological consultation during pregnancy adequate follow-up support after giving birth."


Pregnant women with migraine at higher risk of complications, new research finds. EurekAlert! Published June 19, 2021. Accessed June 21, 2021.

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