Background: Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (NVP) is the most common pregnancy complication affecting women during the first trimester of pregnancy. The cause of NVP remains unknown and factors associated with the occurrence of NVP are contradictory. There is currently little information on its effects of NVP in general and specifically in the Chinese population.
Aims: To assess the prevalence of NVP with different degree of severity and identify their relationship with health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and to determine its association with the sociodemographic and obstetric factors.
Methods: In a prospective cross-sectional study, 396 women who attended the antenatal clinic between 10 and 14 weeks of gestation were invited to complete a structured questionnaire covering maternal characteristics, severity of NVP and their HRQoL. The status of NVP and HRQoL was measured by the frequency of symptoms and the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form-36 (SF-36) respectively. Logistic regression analysis was performed to delineate the factors associated with NVP.
Results: The prevalence of NVP was 90.9%. Almost all domains and dimensions of SF-36 were affected by the presence of NVP and its severity. Factors associated with the presence and severity of NVP were non-smoking, younger age and history of NVP in previous pregnancy.
Conclusions: The various degrees of severity of NVP significantly impair both physical and mental HRQoL in Hong Kong Chinese women. Awareness and care should be given to women with symptoms of nausea or retching alone, as well as vomiting.