Understanding Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Hyperemesis Gravidarum, in its most basic sense, means “excessive vomiting of a pregnant woman.” Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a severe and extreme type of morning sickness. Hyperemesis Gravidarum typically is severe enough that it will prevent the mother from taking in enough food or fluids, and can often lead to a variety of problems for both the woman and her baby. Hyperemesis Gravidarum affects somewhere around one to two percent of pregnant women. Obviously, Hyperemesis Gravidarum is much less common than morning sickness, which is estimated to affect more than two thirds of all pregnant women.

There are many specific problems that can come from Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Some women with Hyperemesis Gravidarum may lose as much as one fifth of their body weight, and most women with Hyperemesis Gravidarum will lose at least 5% of their body weight. One of the most immediate dangers of Hyperemesis Gravidarum is dehydration. Dehydration can further complicate things in that it tends to create even more nausea. Dehydration can be dangerous both to the pregnant woman, as well as to her baby. In addition, a woman with Hyperemesis Gravidarum may experience deficiencies in nutrition. In many cases, a woman with Hyperemesis Gravidarum can’t keep anything down, including her prenatal vitamins. This means that her baby will be at an increased risk for birth defects, as the iron, folic acid, and other ingredients in prenatal vitamins have been demonstrated to reduce the risk of birth defects.

If it goes untreated, Hyperemesis Gravidarum can lead to hypoglycemia, malnutrition, renal failure, atrophy, and a whole host of other ailments and problems. Hyperemesis Gravidarum is considered to be a medical emergency. Hyperemesis Gravidarum is most often treated with an IV which will provide rehydration, as well as nutritional elements that both mother and baby need.

If you are pregnant and have been vomiting severely or excessively for more than a day or so, and have not been able to keep anything down, you should contact your health care provider. Your health care provider may recommend that you go to the emergency room or the hospital. If you are unable to contact your health care provider, it is imperative that you seek help in an emergency room right away.