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About 20 Percent of Women Avoid Pregnancy Due to Migraine

72.5 percent of women who avoided pregnancy believed that migraine would be worse in pregnancy

TUESDAY, Sept. 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Migraine has a considerable impact on women’s pregnancy plans, with about 20 percent avoiding pregnancy due to migraine, according to a study published online Sept. 15 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Ryotaro Ishii, M.D., Ph.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, and colleagues enrolled 607 adult women with migraine who completed the American Registry for Migraine Research family planning questions to examine the impact of migraine on women’s pregnancy plans.

The researchers found that 19.9 percent of the women avoided pregnancy due to migraine. Those who avoided pregnancy were younger, had fewer children, and were more likely to have chronic migraine and menstrually associated migraine compared with women who did not avoid pregnancy. Beliefs of women who avoided pregnancy included that their migraine would be worse during pregnancy, disability caused by migraine would make pregnancy difficult, migraine medications would negatively impact child development, and migraine would cause the baby to have abnormalities at birth (72.5, 68.3, 76.0, and 14.0 percent, respectively).

“Patient apprehension that migraine would worsen during pregnancy was a frequently cited reason as to why a woman with migraine chose to avoid pregnancy,” write the authors of an accompanying editorial. “This finding speaks to a missed opportunity for clinicians to adequately educate patients about their disease, as pregnancy is a time when many actually experience migraine improvement.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries.

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