Nausea with or without vomiting is so common in early pregnancy that mild symptoms may be considered part of the normal physiology of the first trimester. However, these symptoms can significantly impact the quality of life of both the pregnant woman and her family, especially when persistent and/or severe. "Morning sickness" describes mild to moderate disease, whereas hyperemesis gravidarum is the term used to describe the severe end of the symptom spectrum (including weight loss exceeding 5 percent of pre-pregnancy body weight). Severe symptoms can negatively impact daily functioning, cause anxiety, interfere with work performance, and lead to some women considering termination of pregnancy or avoiding a future pregnancy.Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy commonly occurs between 5 and 18 weeks of pregnancy. Between 50 and 90 percent of women with normal pregnancies have some degree of nausea, with or without vomiting. The severity of these symptoms can vary and can last for various periods of time."Morning sickness" is the term often used to describe mild nausea and vomiting that occur due to pregnancy (and not due to other illness), even though symptoms may occur at any time of day. "Hyperemesis gravidarum" is the term used to describe a more severe condition. Hyperemesis may cause you to vomit multiple times throughout the day, lose weight, be unable to consume food and liquids, and typically requires evaluation in the hospital and treatment with medication(s).Management of women with nausea and vomiting of pregnancy depends upon symptom severity, the impact of her symptoms on her health and quality of life, and the safety of treatment for both her and the fetus. Treatment approaches include dietary/lifestyle changes, prescribed medication(s), and hospitalization for parenteral fluids and therapies in women with hypovolemia or hyperemesis gravidarum who fail to respond to outpatient management. Enteral or parenteral nutrition may be required for women with persistent weight loss despite these interventions.
|Author||Michelle Bates Ph D|
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