alexa Headache in Pregnancy: An Overview of Differential Diag
ISSN: 2376-127X

Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health
Open Access

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Review Article

Headache in Pregnancy: An Overview of Differential Diagnoses

Natasha Ng, Samantha Cox and Sachchidananda Maiti*
North Manchester General Hospital, Manchester, UK
Corresponding Author : Sachchidananda Maiti
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
North Manchester General Hospital
University of Manchester Medical School Manchester, UK
Tel: 441617202235
Fax: 1617935765
E-mail: [email protected]
Received November 11, 2014; Accepted January 16, 2015; Published January 19, 2015
Citation: Ng N, Cox S, Maiti S (2015) Headache in Pregnancy: An Overview of Differential Diagnoses. J Preg Child Health 2:130 doi: 10.4172/2376-127X.1000130
Copyright: ©2015 Ng N, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Headache is a common symptom in pregnancy, reported in up to 35% of women during their antenatal period. During pregnancy, women may experience their first episodes of headache, which could become a recurrent problem. The purpose of this review is to recognise the classical presentation and contributory factors of primary and secondary headaches. Primary headaches include tension type headache and migraine. Secondary headaches include hypertension, pre-eclampsia, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, subarachnoid haemorrhage, cerebral venous thrombosis, and reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome. As we encounter headaches so frequently in patients who are pregnant, we need to equip ourselves to recognise the ‘red flag’ signs that would alert practitioners to the need for urgent management and differentiate it from those that are benign.

This article will cover the following topics:

• Primary Headaches − Tension Type Headache − Migraine

• Secondary Headaches − Hypertension/Pre-Eclampsia − Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension o Subarachnoid haemorrhage − Cerebral Venous Thrombosis − Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstriction Syndrome

• Assessment of patients with headache

• Red Flag Signs


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