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How do estrogen levels during pregnancy affect headaches?

Dawn Marcus
Neurology
Estrogen levels rise dramatically during pregnancy and drop precipitously after delivery. Compared to first-trimester levels, estrogen increases six-fold by the third trimester and then drops to almost undetectable levels after delivery.

Many women find that headaches improve as estrogen levels surge during pregnancy. Improvement usually begins at the end of the first trimester. This tends to continue throughout the remainder of pregnancy, while estrogen levels stay high. When the baby is born, estrogen levels drop and headache protection is lost, causing headaches to begin again.

Sixty to seventy percent of women with migraine will have significant improvement in their headache patterns during the second and third trimesters.
The Woman's Migraine Toolkit: Managing Your Headaches from Puberty to Menopause (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

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The Woman's Migraine Toolkit: Managing Your Headaches from Puberty to Menopause (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

Migraines are a common, controllable type of headache that affects one in every six women, more than 20 million in the United States alone. The Woman’s Migraine Toolkit helps readers take charge of...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.