Some pregnant women experience both nausea and vomiting, some only feel queasy but they do not vomit, while the lucky ones hardly ever have these problems.
For some women nausea is worse in the morning and it subsides during the day, hence the term “morning sickness”. Some women have nausea all day long, every day, and some have this problem just on certain days. The intensity of symptoms is also individual and varies from woman to woman.
Morning sickness usually starts around the sixth week of pregnancy but it can occur earlier too, for example during the fourth week. In about one half of all pregnant women who suffer from nausea and vomiting, the problem goes away around the fourteenth week, but for some it persists during the whole course of pregnancy.
Pregnant women who experience nausea and vomiting should consult their doctor, nurse or midwife for tips and recommendations on how to overcome this problem and how to make it more easy to suffer through.
Causes of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy
It is hard to say with certainty what exactly causes nausea in pregnancy, but most experts agree that it is a combination of different physical factors which take place during this period.
Human Chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone suspected to be the one to blame for morning sickness, especially because problems start at the time when hCG levels peak. Also, higher levels of this hormone, for example in women who carry twins or triplets, are associated with more severe problems with nausea in those women.
Estrogen is another hormone which is elevated at the beginning of pregnancy and it is possible that it causes nausea and vomiting.
Another possibility is the fact that during pregnancy the sensibility to smell increases, which means that the gag reflex is triggered more easily.
Women who generally have more sensitive stomach are more likely to have morning sickness in pregnancy. Also, women who have bacteria Helicobacter pylori are also at higher risk of having this problem.
Finally, certain studies and research have indicated the possibility that some women are more prone to nausea in pregnancy as an abnormal response to stress, which triggers a physiological reaction. However, this theory has not yet been scientifically proven.