Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. It is not common.
The cause is unknown. There are many thoughts about what may cause it, such as:
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HG is more common in young pregnant women. It is also more common in pregnant women who are Asian or Black.
Things that may raise your risk are:
HG may cause:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. You may have:
The earlier you get treatment, the faster you can recover. Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Here are some ways to treat HG:
Try to eat frequent, small meals of bland, dry, high protein foods
Treating nausea may allow you to eat and drink. This will help you get better faster. There aren’t any medicines that treat HG. But there are ones that can help control symptoms. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any medicines you take.
Vitamin B6 is a safe way to treat HG. It may be taken with or without doxylamine (an anti-histamine).
If you have dehydration, lightheadedness, and fainting, you may need IV fluids and vitamins. Rarely, you may need IV fluids throughout your pregnancy.
If you can’t take in enough food by mouth, you may need IV nutrition. A special kind of catheter is placed in a large vein. Liquid nutrition is given through it.
In rare cases, induced abortion may be done if all other treatments have been tried.
To lower your chance of nausea during pregnancy:
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
The Canadian Women's Health Network
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC)
About hyperemesis. HER Foundation website. Available at: http://www.helpher.org/hyperemesis-gravidarum. Updated April 18, 2013. Accessed July 23, 2018.
Acupuncture. EBSCO Natural and Alternative Treatments website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/biomedical-libraries/natural-alternative-treatments. Updated July 27, 2017. Accessed July 23, 2018.
Herrell HE. Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. Am Fam Physician. 2014;89(12):965-970.
Morning sickness: nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq126.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130806T1444487894. Updated December 2015. Accessed July 23, 2018.
Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114643/Nausea-and-vomiting-in-pregnancy. Updated January 4, 2018. Accessed July 23, 2018.
Practice Bulletin No. 153: nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol. 2015;126(3):e12-e24.
Last reviewed June 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Kathleen A. Barry, MD Last Updated: 7/24/2018