Nausea & vomiting in pregnancy (NVP), commonly known as "morning sickness", affects 50-90% of pregnant women.
In most women, the condition manifests between the 4th-7th week after last menstrual period and resolves by the 16th week of gestation.
It manifests in a spectrum of severity from mild nausea to very rare life-threatening symptoms.
The etiology is multifactorial.
The pregnant woman's sense of well-being and her daily activities are greatly affected by nausea and vomiting; the physical and emotional impact often leads to anxiety and worry about the effect of the symptoms on the fetus and reduced job efficiency.

Differential Diagnosis

  • If nausea and vomiting (N/V) begins after 9 weeks of gestation, other possible causes should be investigated
  • For more severe and persistent nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (NVP), other causes must be ruled out:
    • Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders [eg gastroenteritis, cholecystitis, peptic ulcer disease (PUD), hepatitis, pancreatitis, intestinal obstruction]
    • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
    • Metabolic disorders [eg diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), hyperthyroidism, Addison’s disease, etc]
    • Neurologic disorders [eg migraine headaches, vestibular lesions, central nervous system (CNS) tumors, etc]
    • Psychological disorder (eg eating disorders)
    • Drug toxicity or intolerance (eg Morphine, Digoxin, iron)
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