Headache During Pregnancy That Won T Go Away


Headaches during pregnancy are a common occurrence, affecting around 50 – 78% of expectant mothers. Though annoying and sometimes painful, they’re typically harmless, but it is important to identify the cause of the headache so that appropriate treatment can be implemented if necessary. It is recommended to discuss the headaches with a healthcare provider for potential causes and associated risks.

When assessing headaches during pregnancy, it is important to understand risk factors for an underlying condition that could be causing the headache. For example, obstetric cholestatis (OC) is an uncommon condition of late pregnancy caused by bile acid buildup in the blood which can manifest as severe itching or jaundice and has been linked with headache episodes in pregnant women due to high levels of hormones in the body Other risks associated with headaches during pregnancy include hypertensive disorders such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and even sleep disturbances due to discomfort or changes in hormone levels.

It is also important to consider lifestyle factors when assessing headache symptoms during pregnancy. Poor sleeping habits may not always be directly correlated, but excessive stress can lead to tension-type headaches or migraines which can become worse over time if untreated or neglected. Caffeine intake should also be monitored since it may act as a stimulant and increase symptoms related to insomnia or anxiety which can both aggravate headaches. Additionally, staying hydrated and consuming a balanced diet are both key components for reducing potential headache triggers.

Causes of Headache

Headaches experienced during pregnancy can be caused by a number of things, including dehydration, hormone changes, and poor posture. It is important to recognize the signs that might start a headache so it may be avoided or become more manageable. Common causes may include:

Dehydration: Not consuming enough fluids during pregnancy can cause headaches. To avoid this, individuals should drink about 4-8 glasses of water per day, or whatever amount is recommended for their body type.

Hormone Changes: Fluctuations in hormones can lead to increased sensitivity to light and sound which can trigger painful headaches. To alleviate the sensations related to these surges in hormones, pregnant females should pay attention to any sudden mood changes.

Poor Posture: Pregnancy causes large fluctuations in weight and muscle tension, and sometimes pregnant women don’t accommodate these changes with a proper set-up for their bodies such as having an ergonomic chair or finding comfortable positions while sitting and sleeping. This can all contribute to chronic headaches if not addressed properly.

If the talk of “preeclampsia,” is raised when speaking with your doctor about your persistent headache then this could be a sign that the individual may need additional medical treatment. Other warning signs include blurred vision, high blood pressure readings on multiple occasions taken over 24 hours apart from one another, vomiting or nausea that does not stop after 24 hours, swelling in the face and hands for more than 12 hours, difficulty breathing or rapid breathing with wheezing sounds made from deep inside the chest cavity. In any case of concerning symptoms such as those previously mentioned – seek immediate medical attention when possible!

Physical Manifestations

Headache during pregnancy is a very common occurrence and can range from mild to severe. It can be caused by a number of physical, hormonal and mixed causes. Some women experience only occasional, mild headaches during their pregnancy while others suffer from frequent and more intense episodes.

Common physical signs of headache during pregnancy include pressure or tightness across the forehead and/or temples, neck pain and stiffness, sore scalp, face flushing, lightheadedness and dizziness. Women may also report a throbbing sensation that tends to pulsate with the heartbeat. In some cases, there could be sensitivity to light and sound following an episode of headache. Nausea, vomiting and heightened fatigue are often associated with the more severe types of headaches associated with pregnancy. The intensity of pain may increase suddenly or slowly over several hours making it difficult for the woman to carry out her daily activities in comfort. Many women report feeling extremely stressed due to their inability to calm the pain before its termination.

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Diagnosing the Causes

Headaches during pregnancy can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from stress to more serious underlying medical conditions. In order to properly diagnose and treat the cause of the headache, it is important to consider all possible different diagnoses. Below are some of the most common causes of persistent headaches during pregnancy:

1. Stress: Pregnant women often experience higher levels of stress than normal due to hormonal changes. This leads to elevated muscle tension in the neck and shoulders, which can result in headaches. Managing stress levels through methods such as deep breathing or meditation may help reduce headaches caused by elevated stress levels.

2. Dehydration: During pregnancy, people are advised to drink a lot more fluids than they usually would to ensure enough hydration for themselves and their unborn child. Not drinking enough water may result in dehydration, which can lead to severe headaches and dizziness.

3. Poor Posture: As the body adjusts to its changing weight distribution during pregnancy, bad posture can unknowingly become easier for many pregnant women due to muscular fatigue and weak core muscles. This could lead not only to chronic lower back pain but also contribute to persistent headaches if left untreated for too long. Changing up posture regularly throughout the day may help mitigate pain in both areas by giving targeted muscles rest and preventing unnatural strain on them as well as your spine!

4. Caffeine Withdrawal: As pregnant women commonly avoid caffeine while expecting, this could put them at risk for withdrawal symptoms such as heathache if they abruptly stop consuming caffeine without tapering down gradually first over a few days or weeks leading up until one has completely gone off caffeine entirely! A sudden cease in caffeine consumption is when these types of abstinence-related symptoms tend show up most noticeably since our bodies have grown so accustomed (and dependent) on regular doses of that substance each day beforehand!

Treatment Options

Self-care strategies are an important treatment option for headache pain during pregnancy that won’t go away. One such strategy is to stay properly hydrated throughout the day to keep the body well nourished and to keep headaches at bay. Another self-care strategy might be to make sure you get enough rest, as fatigue can be a trigger for headaches. Regular exercise such as walking or swimming can also help alleviate headaches. Additionally, avoiding certain potential triggers such as caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco should be avoided in order to further decrease the likelihood of additional headaches occurring. Finally, relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga may be beneficial in helping reduce headache pain when used regularly.

Medical Interventions

For minor headaches during pregnancy, over-the-counter medicines that contain acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) can be used. However, these medications should not be taken for more than two days in a row without consulting a doctor. It is also recommended that the pregnant woman take the lowest dose possible and limit the frequency of taking it.

When the headaches become more serious or frequent and are not relieved by standard over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs may need to be taken. These include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium and even codeine when prescribed by a healthcare professional. It is important to remember that these medications cannot cure headaches but can help relieve pain and discomfort associated with them. As with all medications, there are risks associated with their use during pregnancy so it is always best to consult with a doctor before taking any medication while pregnant.

Professional Evaluation

Headache during pregnancy is a common issue for many women, causing both physical and emotional concerns. Headaches that won’t go away may be caused by a wide range of disruptive factors and health conditions. These include hormonal changes, increased stress, lack of restful sleep, vision changes, neck or jaw discomfort, dehydration, and even sinus infections.

Professionally evaluating the source of the headache is an important first step. Your doctor may recommend tests to check your blood pressure to evaluate any signs of preeclampsia, as well as ultrasounds or blood tests to rule out other causes. Depending on individual circumstances, these results can help inform the type of treatments you will receive.

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There are several helpful lifestyle modifications that pregnant women can do in order to reduce their risk of headaches that won’t go away. This includes getting regular exercise and plenty of restful sleep – supplementing this with naps when necessary; drinking plenty of water and limiting caffeine; avoiding certain foods such as chocolate or aged cheeses; doing gentle stretching or yoga rather than strenuous activities; and preparing meals ahead to reduce any last-minute stress.

For more severe or persistent cases, your doctor may consider referring you for specific pain management therapies such as acupuncture or massage. Medication might also be prescribed if needed but these should be taken sparingly and monitored closely due to potential risks associated with absorption into the placenta. Ultimately, the best option for relief from headaches during pregnancy will depend on each individual’s circumstances so working closely with your care provider is essential in reaching optimal outcomes.


It is possible to reduce the occurrence and severity of headaches during pregnancy by following a few simple strategies. Making lifestyle changes, such as increasing your exercise and getting enough sleep, can help reduce the frequency of headaches. Exercising regularly increases blood flow to your muscles, relieving tension and stress that are known to trigger migraines and other types of headache. Getting enough rest also helps, particularly when you experience a headache triggered by physical activities or stress.

In addition to making lifestyle changes, maintaining a balanced diet throughout pregnancy may help prevent headaches. Eating regular meals on a routine schedule with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates will provide your body with essential vitamins and minerals for energy production. Drinking plenty of water can help prevent dehydration which is another common cause of headaches during pregnancy.

Finally, managing stress correctly is essential for avoiding headaches. Learning healthy coping strategies such as mindfulness meditation or deep breathing exercises can reduce feelings of anxiety which can lead to feelings of tension in the head and neck area resulting in severe headaches.


Headache during pregnancy that won’t go away can be a troubling symptom for pregnant women. The most common cause of this type of headache is the hormonal changes occurring during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, which can lead to an increase in progesterone levels and decreased blood flow to the vessels in the head resulting in tension headaches. Other causes for a persistent headache may include dehydration, lack of sleep, stress, or sinus problems. It is especially important for pregnant women to be aware of these potential causes so that they can take preventative measures such as staying well hydrated and getting adequate rest.

When experiencing a stubborn headache during pregnancy that won’t go away, it is important to speak with your doctor to make sure there are no underlying medical conditions that need attention. It may also be helpful to keep a record of symptoms and triggers associated with the headaches. Common treatments involve lifestyle modifications such as avoiding strenuous activities, maintaining adequate nutrition, avoiding caffeine and alcohol consumption as well as finding ways to manage stress through relaxation techniques such as yoga or massage. Medications may also be used when necessary; however, it is important to check with your physician prior to taking any medication while pregnant.

In conclusion, headache during pregnancy that won’t go away can be quite troublesome for pregnant women. The most common cause for this type of headache is due to hormonal changes and decreased blood flow during the second and third trimester; however, certain medical conditions or lifestyle factors could be contributory as well. To overcome this problem it is important for pregnant persons to stay hydrated and get enough rest in addition to finding ways to manage stress along with consulting their physician before taking medications if necessary.

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