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National Migraine Centre
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Pregnancy & Migraines

Florencenightingale
Florencenightingale

Hi,

I'm new to the forum.

I'm 33 and have suffered migraines for most of my adult life, they feel horrendous for me but I know people suffer much worse with them. I was eventually prescribed sumatriptan which works really well (once the drugged up feeling passes).

My problem is I'm currently 10 weeks pregnant following IVF and on x3 lots of progesterone until 12 weeks. I used to have monthly migraines around my cycle but currently I'm getting them weekly, sometimes more and lasting for 3 days, I cant take my sumatriptan whilst pregnant. I'm having to ring in sick to work as i just cant cope (I'm a nurse and already been redeployed to HR to cover the COVID staff absence line).

I'm praying to get passed 12 weeks so i can stop the meds, but has anyone has any experience or anything that helps?

The pain is always directly behind my eye socket which moves to my temples. Hot showers seem to help and pressing on my head but I can only do that for so long. They were only ever on the left side, now I'm getting them on the right too.

Sorry for the long post.x

16 Replies
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you poor thing - I get both left and right side migraines and have to say that the right side tend to be the worst.

I'm afraid I've never been pregnant but the NMC do have a series of pod-casts which includes on specifically on migraine and pregnancy which might give you some ideas.

nationalmigrainecentre.org....

series 2 episode 5

Non-triptan things that can help me include some aromas - peppermint and lavendar can be good - and so can ylang-ylang. I now use NSAIDs as I seem to have got to a point where these are a lot more effective than triptans anyway (realised when I didn't have any migraines whilst on naproxen for a trapped nerve) - however those willl probably be out during pregnancy as well so not much help :)

Thank you so much for your reply..I'll look into those podcasts xx

I agree with Gambit62- I have recently discovered hot peppermint tea.. I also have a roll on that I keep with me and when I feel bad I roll it on the area on the back on my hand and smell it a few times. I also have red and white peppermint candy when needed

I also use ice on my neck because that is where my pain starts.

I had oxygen in a dark room and that helped a lot. I also had Novocain injections in my neck ( sounds painful) but this really help. I also used this when I felt it coming on.

In addition I want to recommend the “Heads up” Podcast. These are Migraine Specialist from the UK. I am also sure there is one that focuses on pregnancy.

I have been taking FeverFew 2x a day and recently changed my magnesium to glycinate and this has almost stop them for me. But I have to take it 3x a day.

Good luck hang in there.

Hello,

I had nearly non- stop migraines during both my pregnancies although they did ease off for a bit after the first trimester.

I do think in my experience nothing much helped for the pain it was just something you had to endure for the sake of the baby. We waited a long time before trying to get pregnant in the hope I would get better before conceiving, I have chronic migraines and fibromyalgia amongst other things. Anyway I just got worse rather than better so we had to got for it anyway otherwise you end up with no kids and just your disabilities for company. I had two 2nd trimester misscarriages inbetween too so I went through a long time without triptans and prevention meds.

You say you've been through IVF which must very stressful and emotional and that you are a nurse. And while I understand you feel you should be joining the fight with your colleagues against covid I really think this is a battle you should miss. You and your baby are just as important as all the patients you would be helping. I know IVF is so often unsuccessful and for you to have got to 10 weeks I think you need to put yourself and your baby first and that they should be your top priority. The stress you will be under with the pregnancy and the migraines is hard enough. If you could let yourself rest as much as possible that would be better. I can't say your colleagues would understand bc I don't know them but you are a patient yourself now and have to be protected.

I'm sorry if that doesn't help you much but for me personally my pain has always been very persistent regardless of any alternative therapy. When I'd get very desperate I'd turn to a TENS machine and cry a lot! You have to use it for over half an hour to feel any better and I don't know if it helped me but it was a distraction from the pain at least.

Hopefully things will get milder in a couple of weeks for you. Good luck.

Cat

Hi thanks for your reply. It wasnt really a case of going to work or nit, it was more for advice as to what might help. Saying that, I've self certed for a week and havent had a migraine since, so maybe work was stressing me out. Or maybe it's my hormones calming down. Either way I'll take it as a bonus Haha xx

Great! Good luck with everything xx

I wish I had some help for you. Any chance you can have a tele-med (phone call or live chat) with a headache specialist? You’ve got to see a doctor.

Also this is a great resource if you can watch some videos you may be able to find something related to hormones and pregnancy in the interviews:

migraineworldsummit.com

Since I've been off work I havent had any migraines, I'm hoping I can get a sick note to get me passed 12 weeks and just carry on. I'll also ask the doc if theres anything else I can have xx

I had terrible migraines during the first trimester of my pregnancy, but they almost completely stopped after that for the rest of the pregnancy and until I stopped breastfeeding. For what it's worth, I see two neurologists and both said it was ok to take Sumatriptan during pregnancy. There have been some retrospective studies of women who took it and they showed no ill effects. They can never officially say it's fine because you can't do a proper medical trial on pregnant women, but I looked up the retrospective studies and was convinced enough to take it when I really needed it.

Yeah I'm just wanting to get to 12 weeks and hoping they get better. After everything weve been thru I wouldnt take the risk of having the Triptan, I already had a MC likely due to meds, I couldnt live with myself if it happened again. Xx

Hi, I had migraines during mi pregnancy the first trimester, one of the migraines lasted more than a week so I went with my neurologist and she said absolutely NO to triptans during pregnancy. I used to put ice on my head, and oils on my neck. After the first 12 weeks everything went much better, so you will be there. Be strong and take care.

That sounds awful. 3 days is bad enough. I've been much better since I've been off work so hoping it continues. I would never risk taking meds that could be dangerous for the baby, after everything weve been thru. I've also found massaging the bridge of my nose really helps xx

I understand you! The doctor told me it was my last chance with 2 previous miscarriages and I was 40 already, but after 12 weeks everything went much better and I delivered my boy 1 week before my 41 birthday, tomorrow April 13 is his 8 birthday. Good luck to you, I wish you and your baby the best.

Aww that's wonderful. Its eased off the past few days so I'm happy with that xx

Hi , it sounds grim for you at the moment...so very sorry for you. But maybe once your pregnancy is past 12 weeks and you are not having to take the hormones you will find the migraines stop. I have had awful frequent migraines, and at times chronic over my life but they stopped when I was pregnant and breast feeding ( 2 babies)I suppose because of stable hormone levels. It was wonderful! So maybe that will happen for you. I hope and pray that will be the case. And as much as they need nurses to be at work at the moment, you and your baby are most important so try not to get stressed about being off work and taking care of yourself. Stress will not help your head as you know. I hope you find you feel a lot better soon and have a joyous pregnancy!

Pippa

That's good to know, I'm hoping they go at 12 weeks but will expect a few. I've been much more relaxed whilst off work so hoping I get a sick note from my gp tomorrow. Thank you xx

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