Migraines: Causes and treatment

Headaches can disrupt your life and make you unable to perform your daily tasks. One of the common types of headaches, especially among women, is migraine headache. In this article, we will review the causes and symptoms of migraine headaches and how these headaches affect pregnant women. And the best treatment methods.

Published on:Mar 21st 2024
صداع الشقيقة

What is a migraine?

It is a severe headache that causes sharp, pulsating pain in one side of the head. Migraine headaches come in the form of strong attacks that may last a few hours, or the attack may last for several days as well. Migraines get worse with these triggers:

  • Physical activity.
  • Loud sounds.
  • Strong smells.
  • Bright lighting.

Migraine is an irritating condition that may prevent you from continuing your daily routine, performing work tasks, and remaining committed to your family. Therefore, do not underestimate this condition, and see a doctor if you notice symptoms indicating a migraine.


Migraine symptoms vary depending on the type and stage of this headache. Here are the most common symptoms:

  • Mood swings.
  • Disturbed sleep patterns.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Fatigue.
  • Nausea.
  • Hunger and thirst.
  • Frequent urination.
  • General weakness.
  • Visual disturbances.
  • Ringing in the ear.
  • Numbness and tingling of the extremities.
  • Difficulty speaking.
  • Increasing pain on one side of the head, which may move to the other, might be pounding or pulsing.
  • Vomiting.
  • Sinus pain.
  • Hypersensitivity to light, sound, and smells.
  • Neck Stiffness.
  • Pain in the forehead.
  • Feeling dizzy.
  • Pain around the eyes.


Scientists and doctors have not yet determined the causes of migraine headaches. However, many studies indicate that there is a genetic factor in play. It has been shown that people who have a first-degree relative who suffers from these headaches are more susceptible to migraine headaches.

A migraine occurs when some nerves send pain signals to the brain, which produces inflammatory substances in the nerves and blood vessels of the head. But there is no clear reason why these nerves send these pain signals.

Some causes trigger migraines, the most important of which are:

  • Bright and powerful lights.
  • Extreme heat.
  • Dehydration.
  • High or low blood pressure.
  • Hormonal fluctuations occur during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause.
  • Extreme stress.
  • Noise.
  • Extreme physical exertion.
  • Change in sleep.
  • Not eating enough.
  • Taking some medications such as birth control pills.
  • Strange smells.
  • Some foods.
  • Smoking.
  • Drink alcohol.

 Migraines in pregnant women

Migraine headaches affect 25% of women, as the hormonal fluctuations that a woman experiences during the different stages of her life, whether during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, childbirth, or menopause, play a direct role in this. The most important hormonal changes that affect the occurrence of migraines are changes in the level of estrogen that occur during pregnancy.

Studies have shown that 50% to 80% of women who suffered from migraines before pregnancy noticed a decrease in symptoms during pregnancy due to the rise in estrogen during pregnancy. Therefore, hormone replacement therapies that increase estrogen levels are used to treat some cases of migraine headaches, especially if the menstrual cycle is one of the triggers for these headaches. However, it is essential not to take these treatments without consulting a doctor, as they may have a negative effect. It may increase the possibility of strokes.

However, some women experience migraine headaches for the first time during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. Migraines may be transient and go away with painkillers prescribed by the doctor that do not harm the fetus, or they may have dangerous repercussions when accompanied by high blood pressure. It may cause preeclampsia if left without treatment and follow-up.

Migraine treatment

  • Avoid migraine triggers.
  • Control stress and anxiety by practicing breathing exercises, yoga, and journaling.
  • Migraine pills prescribed by a doctor.
  • Sleep for enough hours.
  • Drink enough water.
  • Take pain relievers.
  • Taking medications to relieve nausea and vomiting.
  • Hormone replacement therapy if migraines are related to the menstrual cycle or menopause.
  • Botox injections prescribed by a doctor.
  • Psychotherapy.
  • Alternative treatments such as acupuncture, cupping, and massage.
OmoomaOmooma | First Online Arabic Motherhood Training Platform

Omooma is the first Online platform offering classes in Arabic dedicated to mothers and mothers-to-be. In addition to content covering many relevant topics, women’s health, pregnancy, fertility, child’s health, and parenting. Omooma’s articles are written by medical writers, based on extensive research, and reviewed by a panel of experts who are part of the largest team of experts available in the region in all fields related to the journey of motherhood.

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