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)
Digital Edition
Asia's trusted medical magazine for healthcare professionals. Get your MIMS JPOG - Malaysia digital copy today!
Sign In To Download
Editor's Recommendations
Most Read Articles
Dr Joslyn Ngu, 16 Mar 2018

A 2008 clinical practice guideline by the Endocrine Society for hirsutism in premenopausal women has been updated and published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. []

Audrey Abella, 29 Dec 2017
The use of oral contraceptives reduces the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA), especially ACPA*-positive RA, according to the Swedish EIRA** study.

Roshini Claire Anthony, 24 Apr 2018

Post-menopausal women diagnosed with oestrogen receptor (ER)-positive ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) who undergo breast-conserving surgery followed by whole breast radiotherapy have a reduced risk of developing local recurrence, according to a study from Italy.

Tristan Manalac, 23 Dec 2017
Contemporary hormonal contraceptives appear to increase the risk of breast cancer, particularly in those with long durations of exposure, a recent study from Denmark has shown.