What Is Morning Sickness? What Causes Morning Sickness?

Medical News Today

Morning sickness, also known as nausea gravidarum, nausea/vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) , emesis gravidarum or pregnancy sickness is a condition that affects over 50% of all pregnant females. The woman feels nauseous, sometimes vomits and is often tired. Women who use hormonal contraception or HRT (hormone replacement therapy) may also have morning sickness symptoms.

Typically, morning sickness occurs in the early hours of the morning, and gradually improves as the day progresses, hence the name. However, some experts say that the term is a misnomer as it can come on at any time of day. The nausea may be mild, or severe enough to induce vomiting.

Sometimes symptoms may be so severe that the woman suffers from dehydration, weight loss, alkalosis (a dangerous drop in the normal acidity of the blood) and hypokalemia (low blood potassium). When symptoms are very severe, the condition is called hyperemesis gravidarum, and develops in approximately 1% of all pregnancies.

According to the National Health Service (NHS), UK, about 28% of women experience nausea without vomiting.

If nausea and vomiting is to occur it will usually do so during the 6th week of pregnancy, but in some cases it may strike during the second week. For many women the symptoms of morning sickness are their first signs of pregnancy. Most pregnant women find that the morning sickness improve after the 12th week of pregnancy. Unfortunately, for some women symptoms persist throughout their pregnancy.Typically, morning sickness occurs in the early hours of the morning, and gradually improves as the day progresses, hence the name. However, some experts say that the term is a misnomer as it can come on at any time of day. The nausea may be mild, or severe enough to induce vomiting.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.