Migraine and other headache disorders in pregnancy

Handb Clin Neurol. 2020;172:187-199. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-64240-0.00011-8.


Migraine prevalence is three times higher in women than in men during fertile years, which is mainly due to sex hormone differences. The majority of women suffering from migraine without aura report improvement of their migraine attacks during pregnancy. Migraine attacks with aura can also improve during pregnancy, but more often remain the same or worsen. Anovulation caused by lactation is generally associated with a decrease in migraine attacks in breastfeeding women. This chapter describes the current knowledge on acute and prophylactic treatment options of migraine and other primary headache disorders during pregnancy and lactation. Further, clinical profiles of secondary headaches during pregnancy and the postpartum period are summarized.

Keywords: Cluster headache; Lactation; Migraine; Pregnancy; Secondary headaches.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Epilepsy*
  • Female
  • Headache
  • Headache Disorders, Primary*
  • Humans
  • Migraine Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Migraine Disorders* / therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence