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The Journal of Headache and Pain

Official Journal of the "European Headache Federation" and of "Lifting The Burden - The Global Campaign against Headache"

The Journal of Headache and Pain Cover Image

Volume 16 Supplement 1

1st Joint ANIRCEF-SISC Congress

Open Access

P049. Migraine influence on female reproductive life and motherhood

  • Matteo Fuccaro1Email author,
  • Cristina Martini1,
  • Martina Bruno1,
  • Matteo Bellamio1,
  • Federico Mainardi2,
  • Carlo Lisotto3,
  • Giorgio Zanchin1 and
  • Ferdinando Maggioni1
The Journal of Headache and Pain201516(Suppl 1):A74

Published: 28 September 2015


Public HealthInternal MedicineInformed ConsentMigrainePain Intensity


Migraine (M) is one of the most frequent diseases recognized as a cause of disability, with a relevant influence on the quality of life, particularly in women.


Our study proposes to evaluate whether migraine affects reproductive choices and motherhood.


We interviewed 399 women affected by M without (93.5%) and with (6.5%) aura, aged 17-79 years, using a semi-structured questionnaire. We collected data about intensity of attacks and frequency, fertility, pregnancies, abortion/miscarriage, number of children, influence on decisions about pregnancy and perceived ability in motherhood. A control group of 400 non migrainous women was interviewed for comparable items.


Among the 399 women interviewed, 94 (23.6%) were post-menopausal, while 305 (76.4%) had their menses; 155 (38.8%) were nulliparous while 244 (61.2%) had had at least one pregnancy; 224 (56.1%) were mothers while 175 (43.9%) did not have children; 86/244 (35.2%) experienced miscarriage or chose abortion at least once. Two hundred and twenty-three (55.9%) had less than 5 attacks/month, 130 (32.6%) had 5 to 14 attacks/month, 46 (11.5%) had 15 or more attacks/month. Pain intensity was low (NRS 1 to 4) in 18 (4.5%), moderate (NRS 5 to 7) in 108 (27.1%), high (NRS 8 to 10) in 273 (68.4%). Among the 399 women we interviewed, of those who wanted another child (184; 46.1%), 60/184 (32.6%) considered their headache a problem for a pregnancy. Two patients interrupted a sought-pregnancy because of the headache. Among patients who did not want (further) pregnancies (215; 53.9%), 20/215 (9.3%) listed headache among the causes for this choice. Few patients considered headache the only reason for their choice. Two hundred and twenty-seven of 399 women (56.9%) reputed headache an impediment to their being mothers. However, few women asked their doctor for information on the relationship between pregnancy and migraine.


Our results seem to show a negative influence of M on decision of facing a pregnancy and self-perception as mothers, may be contributing in perceived disability.

Written informed consent to publication was obtained from the patient(s).

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Neurosciences, Headache Centre, University of Padua, Padua, Italy
Headache Centre, Hospital SS. Giovanni and Paolo, Venice, Italy
Headache Centre, Hospital S. Vito al Tagliamento, Pordenone, Italy


© Fuccaro et al. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. 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 work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.


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