Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size
A
A
A

Topic Overview

Headaches are one of the most common pain-related health problems in women. You may have a headache along with another minor health problem, such as a sore throat, cold, or sinus problem. If your headache is mild and a type you have experienced in the past, there is little reason to be concerned. But a new or different headache, particularly later in pregnancy, may mean a problem such as preeclampsia.

Preeclampsia (formerly called toxemia of pregnancy) is a pregnancy-related condition that causes high blood pressure and affects the mother's kidneys, liver, brain, and placenta. Its cause is unknown. Preeclampsia most commonly occurs during first pregnancies.

Symptoms of preeclampsia include:

  • Persistent headache.
  • Vision problems, such as blurred or double vision.
  • Pain in the upper right abdomen.
  • Swelling of the hands and face that does not go away during the day. Some swelling normally occurs during pregnancy, but it may indicate a problem if other signs of preeclampsia also are present.

Call your doctor if you develop a new or different headache while you are pregnant.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 20, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

Woman smiling as she reads pregnancy test
Slideshow
pregnant woman with salad
Quiz
 
pregnant in thought
Article
babyapp
NEW
 

slideshow fetal development
Slideshow
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
Article
 
What Causes Bipolar
Video
Woman trying on dress in store
Slideshow
 

pregnant woman
Article
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
Video
 
healthtool pregnancy calendar
Tool
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy
Video