Hyperemesis gravidarum is defined as excessive nausea and vomiting among pregnant women. A woman might be sick several times throughout the day and unable to hold food or drink down which negatively affects daily life. This condition requires treatment in a healthcare facility.
If a woman is frequently sick and could not hold food down, the doctor should be informed as soon as possible. Remember that there is a risk for dehydration.
What are the signs?
Hyperemesis gravidarum is worse than the usual nausea and vomiting that occurs during pregnancy.
The usual signs include the following:
- Prolonged and severe episodes of nausea and vomiting
- Low blood pressure while standing
- Weight loss
Hyperemesis gravidarum will not settle by 14 weeks. It might not clear entirely until the infant is born, but some symptoms might improve at around 20 weeks.
What are the causes?
It is not precisely known what causes hyperemesis gravidarum or why some experience it while others do not. It is believed to be associated to the varying hormones in the body that occurs during pregnancy.
There is also a possible genetic link where it runs in families. If a woman had the condition in a previous pregnancy, there is likelihood for it to occur in the next pregnancy.
Management of hyperemesis gravidarum
Medications can be given during pregnancy including the initial 12 weeks can help improve the symptoms. These drugs include vitamins B6 and B12, anti-sickness drugs and steroids. A combination of these drugs can be given in some cases.
If treatment is started early, the more effective the outcome. Remember that various types of drugs might be given until the one that works best is discovered.
In case nausea and vomiting could not be controlled, hospitalization is necessary. The doctor will assess the condition as well as provide the suitable treatment. The treatment can range from intravenous fluids or anti-sickness drugs for severe vomiting.