Morning sickness and nausea are both common symptoms of pregnancy. These can both be difficult things to deal with, but eventually they will pass. Let's talk more about these symptoms of pregnancy.

Key Points

  • Morning sickness affects around 80% of all pregnant women. Around 1 to 3 in 100 of pregnant women will get hyperemesis, a more severe form of morning sickness.
  • Morning sickness is believed to be caused by elevated levels of the hormones hCG and estrogen.
  • Usually, morning sickness disappears by week 20.

What Causes Morning Sickness During Pregnancy and Who's at Risk?

Extreme morning sickness, or Hyperemesis gravidarum, affects about 1 to 3 in 100 of pregnant women. This condition is defined as vomiting that is frequent, persistent, and severe. If not treated, hyperemesis can keep the mother from getting the nutrition and fluids she needs. If nausea during pregnancy persists long enough, it can also threaten the fetus.

The causes of pregnancy morning sickness are not known with certainty, but it appears to be linked to higher-than-usual levels of the hormones hCG and estrogen. It is more common in first pregnancies, young women, and women carrying multiple fetuses. Around 80% of women experience some form of nausea or morning sickness during pregnancy.

What is the Treatment for Morning Sickness?

Before treating you for hyperemesis, your doctor will first want to rule out other possible causes of vomiting, such as gastrointestinal disorders, thyroid problems, or other possible issues. Mild cases are treated with a change in diet, additional rest, and medications. More severe cases often require a stay in the hospital so that the mother can receive fluid and nutrition through an intravenous line.

For most women, nausea and morning sickness will stop about 12 to 20 weeks into their pregnancy. Hyperemesis may not get better throughout pregnancy, but if it does, it will be between 16 and 20 weeks.

When Should I Be Concerned About Morning Sickness?

If you have nausea and vomiting so severe that you cannot keep any food down, or if it persists well into the second trimester, contact your doctor. Do so right away if vomiting is accompanied by pain, fever, or blood.

If you begin to experience the symptoms of dehydration, seek medical attention. Signs of dehydration include an extreme thirst, dizziness or light-headedness, infrequent urination, very dark and strong-smelling urine, and a rapid heartbeat.

If you begin to experience a concerning level of weight loss due to morning sickness, speak to your doctor. This could be a sign of hyperemesis. Your baby can suffer from a host of complications due to malnutrition, so it's important that you talk to your doctor as soon as possible if you suspect you aren't getting enough nutrition. Being unable to keep any food down is also a cause for concern.

If morning sickness or HG is causing you severe mental distress, then you need to speak to someone. Excessive stress is harmful not only to you, but to your baby. It can even cause a preterm delivery in certain cases. Speak to a mental health professional if you're feeling extremely stressed or depressed because of morning sickness or related issues.

Do not take the content of this article as professional medical adviceIt's important to exercise due diligence when obtaining relevant information in matters pertaining to your health. Always consult with your healthcare provider before making any medical decisions.

About the Author