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What can cause headaches during pregnany?




Headache is a common symptom that can occur anytime in pregnancy but presents most commonly in the first and third trimesters.


The cause for a headache in a pregnancy may be hard to pinpoint and many headaches may have no apparent cause. Suggested causes include:


- Hormonal changes and surges due to the pregnancy

- An increased volume of blood circulation due to pregnancy

- Change in sleep patterns

- Withdrawal of caffeine (particular if the mother reduces her usual coffee intake for the safety of the pregnancy!)

- Sinus congestion or infection

- Low blood sugar

- Posture changes (especially in the third trimester)

- Other causes


Do seek urgent medical treatment if:


- the headache does not improve or worsens with home remedies or paracetamol

- you develop a headache in the second or third trimester with spots in the vision/blurred vision with or without swelling especially in the face/arms/hands, with or without tummy pain. Admission to hospital to exclude pre-eclampsia may be necessary in these causes.

- you experience a sudden "explosive" headache, a violent pain that wakes you up, does not go away, or feels unlike any you've ever experienced.

- you experience a headache together with fever and/or a stiff neck. This may suggest meningitis, an infection of the coverings of the brain or spinal cord that can be life-threatening.

- you experience a headache associated with one-sided change/loss of sensation/weakness that may raise the possibility of a stroke

- you develop a headache associated with nasal congestion with pain and pressure under eyes / dental pain. These symptoms can suggest a sinus infection that may need to be treated by antibiotics.




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