Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is when morning sickness in pregnancy is no longer a simple ailment but instead in recognized as a serious condition that could effect the health of the mother and child.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Some women can find pregnancy vomiting so severe ( up to 20 times a day) that they are not able to retain any food or liquid at all and this can go on for weeks, not days. Hyperemesis can start at any stage of your pregnancy although its usually around 4 weeks and can last up to 20 weeks or, for some women, throughout their entire gestation.

Sometimes it can make you lose between 5-25% of your total body fat within the first trimester, slight weight loss has no immediate detrimental effect on the baby but severe weight loss can cause fetal growth problems and seriously effect the mother’s health, possibly leading to further problems later in pregnancy.

So if you find that you are losing a lot of weight instead of gaining it and you are possibly suffering from this severe form of morning sickness then it is likely you would have to be admitted to hospital and placed on an IV drip in order to receive and replenish your necessary fluids, glucose and minerals to help rehydrate you and stop making you feel so weak and ill.

If it is suggested that you do not need to be hospitalized then your GP may prescribe some form of anti-sickness medication called antiemetics. Doctors, however, are extremely careful about what they prescribe to pregnant women to combat nausea. Only take any kind of anti-sickness medication if it has been prescribed to you and don’t purchase any over the counter combatants.

It is also known that urinary tract infections can be the cause of extra nausea, vomiting and tiredness so a test by your GP will be able to ascertain what the cause of the problem may be.

Another possible cause of hyperemesis gravidarum are raised levels of ketones in your urine which can be detected during a routine antenatal health check. Along with tests for urinary tract infections, they will also test for ketones and if high levels of these are discovered then it is a classic sign that diabetes is established and urgent hospital treatment will be required. One of the rare side effects of raised ketones is severe vomiting.

Fortunately, Hyperemesis Gravidarum only usually effects around 1 in 200-500 pregnancies. Remember, though, that vomiting is a fairly normal ailment during early pregnancy, however, if you feel it is more severe than necessary then simply consult your GP who will always provide you with the best advice to suit you and your pregnancy.

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