Chronic Daily Migraine, IVF, and Pregnancy

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genevieverose
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/25/2011 9:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everyone - This is my first time posting on the forum.  I visited a few times before when my issues first started because I didn't know quite what was going on with me...
 
...A little more than six months ago my migraines started changing in frequency and triggers, and then one day five months ago a migraine started and never stopped.  I've been to several neurologists (and tried a bunch of meds) and am currently being treated at Johns Hopkins Headache Center for chronic daily migraine.  This was probably due to the fact that I was never on a preventative for my migraines (I kinda have an aversion to taking medications). 
 
My current meds/supplements are: 200 mg Topamax, 400 mg magnesium, 400 mg B2.  The neurologist wants me to talk to my PCP about taking an anti-depressant, but I don't want to do that right now because 1) I don't think I need it because I'm not depressed and 2) I'm afraid I won't be able to distinguish the side effects of the Topamax from the side effects of the anti-depressant, and I want to keep on top of how the Topamax is interacting with my body. 
 
At 200 mg, I am experiencing some success on the Topamax.  Where I was experiencing constant, unrelenting, daily pain in the 7-10 range, it is now between 3-6, with upward spikes at night.  The side effects are also frustrating, however.  The tingling hands and feet are annoying, but it's the feeling that my brain just doesn't work correctly anymore and I'll freeze in the middle of sentences that is most troublesome.  Hopefully, these side effects will pass in a few weeks.
 
Anyway...Before this all started, my husband and I were going to start our first cycle of in vitro fertilization.  I had just received all of my medications and we had gone through all of our preliminary workups.  I hadn't yet started any of the meds, so that wasn't what triggered the chronic migraine.
 
I was just wondering if anyone here had ever gone through IVF or pregnancy while experiencing migraines or chronic migraines?  I'm just starting to feel like I'm regaining some of my life back and am apprehensive about going off the preventative migraine meds during the IVF cycle and pregnancy, but I don't want to let fear rule my life.  I'm willing to give my body some time to de-stress after all the pain it's been through the last many months, but the neurologist at Johns Hopkins didn't seem to think it would make any difference whether I started IVF now or a year from now - I'd still be dealing with the same issues. 
 
Thanks in advance for any thoughts anyone can provide! :-)

Violet Rose
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 5/25/2011 10:30 AM (GMT -6)   
hi wink
 
I can relate to this.  I would love to have another child but am terrified of the thought of nine months with no pain relief if my headaches continue during pregnancy.  Not to mention that I would want to stop all preventatives, abortives, over the counter medication even whilst trying to conceive.
 
With preventatives and abortive medication and looking after myself properly I can bring my migraines down to a stage where I can live at least some degree of a normal life.  At least then I get 2/3 days pain free stretches inbetween migraines and the migraines last only hours instead of days.  Without the meds I have a migraine constantly with each one lasting 5 days or so and only a day or so till the next one. I am bedridden at this point and have no life at all.
 
Its a gamble because my first pregnancy triggered my first ever migraine.  I woke up one morning to the room spinning and terrible headache and vomiting.  However that was the only migraine I experienced in that pregnancy and I was headache free until my son was born.....after he was born I began to get migraine regularly until six years later when I had my 2nd son and for 9 blissful months I was totally headache free again. As soon as he was born bang the migraines came back, gradually getting worse over the years until I am at the stage I am now.
 
Being in a new relationship means considering the option of another child so my dilemma is the same as yours :-)
 
I could tolerate a few months of feeling terrible if I knew for sure that pregnancy would result in 9 months of feeling wonderful as before! I think generally though most female sufferers report a reduction in migraine during pregnancy but there are some that say pregnancy made it worse.
 
Its a tough decision! I feel for you :)
 

genevieverose
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/25/2011 11:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your reply! It's very good to know that I might find some headache relief during pregnancy :-)

I think some of my apprehension lies in the fact that I'd have to go off of the Topamax a couple months before even getting pregnant (go off Topamax, go on birth control for one month, then start super meds and IVF cycle). And there's no knowing what the birth control and IVF might do to my migraines.

What's it like - trying to manage the migraine pain while trying to be a good mom?

Jenny

Violet Rose
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 5/26/2011 1:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jenny :-)
 
well I'm lucky that I respond well to preventatives and triptans, also as my boys were growing up I had a lot of support from my Mum and my Mum in law :-)    However, I wasn't actually prescribed any triptans until my youngest son was around 5 so I do remember having to deal with full blown migraine quite frequently when they were very little.  Back then my migraines would last for around 48 hours compared to the 5 days that I get now.  I remember they were very good though, I used to have lie on the sofa instead of going to bed as I do now...so I could watch them.  They became used to my episodes bless them, and would just play quietly or come and sleep beside me when they were only toddlers :-)   I remember well my son patting my back while I had my head down the loo being sick ..love him, he was only about 2!
 
It became normal for them to have to turn the TV down and play in a semi darkened room while Mummy sleeps until her head feels better!
 
I think children adapt to these situations very well if you explain to them what the problem is and how they can help :-)
 
The only sad thing was that occasionaly I've had to miss things like sports day at school because standing in the sun with lots of people shouting for hours would be a major trigger for me, and of course having a migraine occasionaly meant I could not take them to school myself so a kind neighbour would take them.
 
We just adapt around my migraines as much as possible :-)
 
 
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