Nausea and vomiting are probably one of the most commonly seen symptoms in pregnancy and has seen to affect at least 80% of pregnant women. Nausea and vomiting usually strikes during the first trimester within 4 to 8 weeks and this usually subsides by week 13 or 14 or may even last longer. Everybody calls it by the name morning sickness but nausea or vomiting can happen anytime during the day or night.
Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy are found to happen because of the effects of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Pregnant women start to produce HCG immediately after a fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining. In the case of severe vomiting the HCG levels could be on the higher side or there could also be a possibility that the woman is pregnant with multiple babies.
Another cause of severe nausea or vomiting could also be the increase in the estrogen hormone during pregnancy. An increase in such hormones is an absolute necessity in order to have a healthy pregnancy so mild nausea and vomiting is quite normal unless it gets to the severe form of vomiting called Hyperemesis gravidarum.
Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe pregnancy-induced vomiting that causes significant dehydration, coupled with electrolyte abnormalities, ketosis, and weight loss. This medical condition could cause the pregnant woman to lose essential nutrients that are needed during pregnancy. Another serious problem that leads to severe vomiting may also be due to Molar Pregnancy, which happens when an abnormal growth of tissue develops within the uterus. These are issues that needs to be essentially addressed with the help of a medical consultation.
Apart from these reasons nausea and vomiting in pregnancy could also be because of other reasons like perhaps as a sign of viable placental tissue. The non – obstetric causes of nausea and vomiting will also need to be ruled out like appendicitis, cholecystitis or some central nervous system disorders like migraine, CNS hemorrhage, increased intracranial pressure. These may also have other symptoms like headache or neurologic issues along with vomiting.
Vomiting can also be due to a sensitive stomach made worse while trying to adapt to the changes of pregnancy or food poisoning even. Stress or fatigue from the pregnancy state may also cause a physical reaction within the body, leading to nausea and vomiting.
Though nausea during pregnancy is a good sign, the important thing to remember is that a lack of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy is never a cause for concern. Some women with healthy pregnancies may never experience any nausea or vomiting. There have been some studies showing that women with nausea and vomiting during the first trimester have a lower risk of miscarriage than women without these symptoms but this is not always an assurance of never having miscarriages.
The treatment or prevention of nausea during pregnancy has to do with everyday self-care and home remedies or managing the symptoms by taking or avoiding certain foods. Whereas in the case of severe vomiting the treatment can include intravenous fluids or administering total parenteral nutrition.
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