Everything You Need to Know About Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Hyperemesis Gravidarum cover photo

Hyperemesis Gravidarum…what in the world did I just say to you…right? I know. There are so many illnesses and conditions that could occur to a woman during pregnancy, and it can be hard to keep up sometimes. Today though, I want to focus specifically on one that not as many people are aware of; Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Let’s talk about what it is, what the causes are, what symptoms to watch out for, and how to properly treat it!

Please keep in mind, I am not a doctor. So if you are experiencing any symptoms in this article, please contact your Akron OBGYN immediately!

What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum?

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG), sometimes referred to as pregnancy sickness, is a severe form of morning sickness that affects up to 2% of pregnant women. HG can cause persistent nausea and vomiting, dehydration and malnutrition, and can have serious consequences for both the mother and the unborn baby. This condition varies in severity, but is not something to be taken lightly at any stage.

I’m sure you’re thinking “everyone gets morning sickness”, but HG is different than a little bit of nausea. HG causes weight loss, and inability to consume nutrient dense foods, lack of energy, depression, anxiety, and potentially damage to the fetus. Thankfully, there are treatments available that can help manage HG symptoms and reduce their severity.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum in blog photo of pregnant woman draped in white cloth

What Causes Hyperemesis Gravidarum?

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is a severe form of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. It can have serious consequences for pregnant women, including dehydration, malnutrition, and emotional distress. The exact cause of HG remains unknown but it is believed to be related to hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. Risk factors include age, ethnicity, pre-existing medical conditions, family history of HG and multiple pregnancies.

What are the Symptoms of Hyperemesis Gravidarum?

HG often begins between the 4th and 6th weeks of pregnancy. It then reaches peak severity between weeks 9 and 13. Whereas some women may experience relief by week 20, others have it all throughout pregnancy.

Common symptoms of Hyperemesis Gravidarum include excessive and frequent nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. If any of these symptoms occur during your pregnancy it is advisable to contact your doctor for further assessment.

Diagnosing and Treating Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Diagnosis of HG involves a physical examination and laboratory tests to rule out other potential causes. Your doctor of course wants to ensure you aren’t experiencing problems with your pregnancy itself, problems with the fetus, or any other nutrition-related concerns. Treatment for Hyperemesis Gravidarum typically includes dietary modifications, medications to reduce nausea and vomiting, IV fluids for hydration, as well as lifestyle changes to reduce stress and improve overall health. Some patients will end up on bed rest pending the severity of their symptoms as well.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum in blog photo of pregnant mom and father holding hands and kissing forehead

Final Thoughts

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a serious, potentially life threatening condition that should be monitored closely. The symptoms may mimic traditional morning sickness, but if left untreated, could progress into sever health complications for you and your little one. Keep track of your symptoms and be sure to contact your doctor immediately if you think you may be exhibiting signs of HG or even morning sickness in general!

Before You Go

Make sure you check out these additional resources and don’t forget to book a maternity photography session with me as soon as possible! I want to capture this beautiful stage in your life!

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