Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy and its symptoms

Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy can vary in severity from woman to woman and can happen morning, noon or night.

What is ‘Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy’?

  • Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy can be a normal part of pregnancy affecting up to 80% of pregnant women.
  • The cause of Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy is uncertain and many risk factors have been identified.
  • Hyperemesis gravidarum is the most severe form of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy and affects up to 3.6% of pregnant women.

What are the symptoms of Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy?

Every woman is different, so while symptoms of nausea and vomiting are familiar to many pregnant women, they can vary from pregnancy to pregnancy.

For some women, eating certain foods or experiencing particular smells may make their nausea and/or vomiting symptoms worse.

Pregnant women may also experience a bitter/metallic taste in their mouth which is most common in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

How many women experience Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy?

  • In 2016, there were an estimated 862,785 conceptions in England and Wales, and with 80% of pregnant women suffering with NVP, this means around 690,000 women experience nausea and vomiting due to pregnancy every year.
  • For most women, NVP starts between weeks 4 to 7 of pregnancy with an average duration of daily NVP for 6 weeks. However, in 20% of women, NVP can persist throughout the entire pregnancy.

How long does Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy last?

  • The term ‘morning sickness’ can be misleading as the symptoms can persist throughout the day and night.
  • The majority of women will experience nausea and vomiting of pregnancy up to their 12th week of pregnancy. Although Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy goes away by itself in most women, as many as 20% will continue to experience nausea, vomiting and retching beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Symptoms last an average of 6 weeks.

What is the impact of Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy?

The severity of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy can vary and some women may only experience very mild symptoms that have little or no impact on them. However, for 40% of pregnant women, Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy can disrupt their lives leaving them unable to go to work or do simple day-to-day tasks.

Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy can also impair mental wellbeing and is associated with feelings of anxiety and depression.

Although nausea and vomiting can be a normal part of pregnancy, you shouldn’t feel like you have to suffer in silence and there are a number of simple things that can help.