Severe Vomiting during Pregnancy

By Medically reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le

For most women, morning sickness comes as one of the very first signs of pregnancy. Despite being called morning sickness, more than half cases of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy do not just occur in the morning. These symptoms often come and go until week 14 of pregnancy, but some may experience excessive vomiting and nausea. They might get tired many times a day and can hardly eat or drink, which consequently cause negative health effects on both the mother and her unborn child.

What are symptoms of severe morning sickness?

When a pregnant woman has excessive nausea and vomiting, she is considered to have hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). Because HG can lead to other pregnancy complications, it often requires hospital treatment.

Here are common signs and symptoms of HG:

−You experience prolonged and severe vomiting and nausea continuously. Some pregnant women could experience this condition up to 50 times a day.
−Your body has signs of dehydration. Because excessive vomiting causes dehydration, if you drink less than 500 ml of fluid a day, your health will be affected tremendously.
−You may possibly get ketosis. If you have constant vomiting, ketones will be produced as the body’s fat is broken down instead of glucose to provide energy. This is a serious health problem that builds up acidic chemicals in your blood and urine.
−You notice weight loss. When having excessive vomiting, you can hardly eat or drink. So, you will lose energy and the nutrients needed to keep your body weight at a normal rate.

While the regular pregnancy sickness tends to disappear after 14 weeks, those who with HG will have to suffer longer than that. Some symptoms may improve on its own after week 20th but without treatment, pregnant women with HG will still have excessive vomiting even after the baby is born.

What are HG treatments?

To relieve the symptoms of HG, your doctor might prescribe you medications to use during pregnancy, even in the first trimester. These medications may include anti-emetic or anti-sickness drugs, steroids, vitamin B6 and B12 or a combination medication of these. In more severe cases in which your vomiting and nausea cannot be controlled, your doctor might need to have a closer look at your condition to give you the right treatment. You may need to inject directly intravenous fluids into your vein. The anti-sickness drugs in the injection form will be given to stop severe vomiting. You may need to try different types of drugs until your doctor finds one that works best for you.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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