Many pregnant women have some nausea and sometimes vomiting in the first trimester. This is called morning sickness. Symptoms are often more severe in the morning. But nausea and vomiting with pregnancy can happen at any time of the day. Some women may feel sick throughout the pregnancy.
A few pregnant women have a severe kind of nausea and vomiting called hyperemesis gravidarum [hy-puhr-EM-uh-sis grav-ih-DAHR-um]. With this condition, nausea and vomiting may be all day long. These women often lose weight, and get dehydrated. They may also have changes in the body's chemical processes.
Healthcare providers don't know what causes hyperemesis gravidarum. It may be related to pregnancy hormones.
The condition is more common in women who are pregnant with twins or more. It’s also more common in women with migraines. Women with a family history of the condition or who had the condition in a past pregnancy are more likely to have it with future pregnancies.
These are the most common symptoms:
The symptoms may look like other health conditions. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Your healthcare provider will review your health history and do a physical exam. He or she will also look for other signs, such as weight loss and dehydration. Blood tests can check for too little or too much of the body's minerals (electrolytes).
Treatment aims to:
You will likely need to stay in the hospital. All food and drink are stopped temporarily. This gives the digestive tract a rest. You will usually need Intravenous (IV) fluids to replace fluids you have lost. The IV fluids also fix problems with minerals (electrolytes) in your body. You may need a sedative and anti-vomiting medicine. If other treatments do not work, you may need steroids or tube feedings.
The condition can lead to:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider: