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Morning Sickness


Disease: Morning Sickness Morning Sickness
Category: Gynecological diseases
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Disease Definition:

The nausea that occurs during pregnancy is called morning sickness. Since morning sickness can strike at any time of the day or night, the name "morning sickness" can be considered a misnomer.

An estimated 50 to 90% of pregnant women may be affected by morning sickness. For some women, morning sickness lingers throughout pregnancy, though the condition is most common during the first trimester. Although various home remedies such as sipping ginger ale and snacking throughout the day often help relieve nausea, treatment isn't usually needed for morning sickness.

Morning sickness is so severe in rare cases, that it's classified as hyperemesis gravidarum. Hospitalization and treatment with medications and intravenous (IV) fluids may be required in this kind of morning sickness.

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Prepared by: Scientific Section

Symptoms, Causes


Nausea with or without vomiting is the characteristic of morning sickness. Sometimes beginning as early as two weeks after conception, morning sickness is most common during the first trimester.

A health care provider should be contacted when:  


  • The woman is unable to keep down liquids
  • Her heart races
  • Starts vomiting blood
  • Passes only a small amount of urine or passes dark color urine
  • Has severe nausea or vomiting
  • Feels dizzy or faint when standing up


The hormonal changes of pregnancy are thought to play a role in morning sickness, though the cause of morning sickness is not really understood. In rare cases, persistent or severe vomiting or nausea may be caused by a medical condition unrelated to pregnancy, such as liver or thyroid disease.

Any pregnant woman can be affected by morning sickness. A woman may be more likely to experience morning sickness if she:


  • Has experienced morning sickness during a previous pregnancy
  • Is pregnant with twins or other multiples
  • Has experienced nausea or vomiting from exposure to certain smells or tastes, motion sickness, migraines or estrogen (in birth control pills, for example) before pregnancy.



Risks for the mother or baby can't be posed by typical cases of morning sickness. However, the baby may be born underweight if the mother is underweight before pregnancy and morning sickness prevents her from gaining a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy. In rare cases, tears in the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach (esophagus) may result from frequent vomiting.


In most cases of morning sickness, treatment is not necessary. However, vitamin B-6 supplements and possibly anti-nausea medications may be prescribed if morning sickness is severe. A woman may need to be treated with anti-nausea medications and intravenous (IV) fluids in the hospital in case she has hyperemesis gravidarum.


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