MAV trigged by Pregnancy

Hi Everyone,

I am a 23 year old who started developing serious dizziness problems when I was 71/2 months pregnant. I had to lay in a dark room all day long. The only time I got up and left the house was to go to the doctor. My son is now 4 months old and I am still having problems with my dizziness. During pregnancy my headaches were more in my sinuses. Thinking I had a sinus infection because of my pain and a 3x normal White Blood Count they put me on two rounds of antibiotics. One during and one after pregnancy, which lowered my WBC count but did not help my sinus pain and pressure. I have seen an ENT who ruled out inner ear or sinus inflamation. My MRI turned out normal. I have been to acupuncture, the chiropractor, and physical therapy. My OB/GYN just said it should go away once I have the baby. To this day I still am suffering from this debilitating nightmare. I take Epidrin to help with my headaches and recently started Nortriptyline which I had to stop because of the terrible side effects. I definitely think what I am experiencing is hormonal as it seems to get worse before I get my period.I am now a very anxious and panicky person due to the dizziness. I have had several panic attacks because I have been so dizzy. It has now stopped me from driving or even going to the store or mall because doing so makes me so dizzy, off balance and panicky. I was wondering if anyone had a similar experience and how long it affected them for. Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated.


Hi Lauren,
I am almost a year post partum and about 2 months after my daughter was born, I got a cold (which was a trigger) and then about 2 wks after the cold had an awful attack of vertigo. I went to the ENT, vestibular rehab, had and MRI, etc, etc, and this isn’t the first time I have had vertigo but it is was the first time that the dizziness just wouldn’t go away. About two years ago, I had a similar experience where I was under stress, got sick and had a bout of vertigo and several weeks where I felt dizzy. I have had diagnoses of vestibular neuritis 12 years ago, then it was “BPPV” two years ago. This last time the ENT couldn’t figure it out so he sent me the Neuro right about the same time I was searching for answers and emailed Dr. Hain. And it was determined to be migraine associated vertigo. I never really thought of myself as someone who really gets migraines. I have had maybe three that I can recall. But I do recall having a bad headache the day I left the hospital with my baby this last time but chalked it up to the spinal. That was probably my migraine. I’ve since learned my aunt had hemiplegic migraines and my brother experienced one in which he lost his vision temporarily. I was so depressed and feeling so dizzy and so awful not able to enjoy the baby. I take Topomax, Nortryptilene, and use Frova the week before my period. I still feel awful a couple of days before my period, but I have also since learned that I have uterine fibroids. They are a huge culprit with women and migraines and other symptoms I was experiencing and didn’t connect the dots with. I am having an ablation for the fibroids and using progesterone cream. Please email me if you’d like to talk more. I understand what you are going through!

My MAV journey began with a hormone spike then subsequent drop (I needed no blood test to have evidence for it): I’d been in perimenopause for some time, and had a mammogram scheduled but had to postpone it because I became so terribly swollen that I felt I was about to start nursing, and was NOT about to go through being “squished” in that condition; within a couple weeks the swelling went down, and my first severe dizziness episode came out of the blue, complete with tunnel vision.

So I while didn’t get into this MAV mess through a pregnancy, I felt like I was about to start nursing, so I can kind of relate!


My MRI was normal, too. And my CT scan (had that when I went to urgent care).

Have you checked out the MAV Fact Sheets on this site? I wonder how much of your “sinus” pain was actually sinus issues, and how much might have been migraine. I suspect it may have been the latter. My neurologist explained it to me this way: he asked if I’d ever had a DIAGNOSED sinus infection, and I said yes, a few. He said, did I remember how completely plugged up my sinuses were, and the headaches I had with that? Yes - THAT, he said, is an actual sinus headache. All the other “sinus” headaches I’d been self-medicating for over the years - with all the congestion and runny nose and pressure that I was SURE was “sinus” related - were most likely migraine. And that migraine history gives more evidence for a diagnosis of MAV.

I’d suggest you check out the MAV Fact Sheets. I’m taking Topamax and that has really controlled my symptoms. No more severe dizziness, just occasional mild dizziness, and no more daily wobbliness.

This happened to me a few weeks before giving birth. My baby is 4 1/2 mos. old and I am just now getting a diagnosis. I am hoping to begin some medication and get some relief. Anyone here tried to take some of the medications while breastfeeding?