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Keywords:

  • nausea;
  • vomiting;
  • pregnancy;
  • antiemetics;
  • hyperemesis gravidarum

Nausea and vomiting, common symptoms during pregnancy, often are regarded as an unpleasant but normal part of pregnancy during the first and early second trimesters. Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) occurs in approximately 75–80% of pregnant women. The exact etiology and pathogenesis of NVP are poorly understood and are most likely multifactorial. Some theories for the etiology of NVP are psychological predisposition, evolutionary adaptation, hormonal stimuli, and Helicobacter pylori infection. Treatment ranges from dietary and lifestyle changes to vitamins, antiemetics, and hospitalization for intravenous therapy. Treatment generally begins with nonpharmacologic interventions; if symptoms do not improve, drug therapy is added. Although NVP has been associated with a positive pregnancy outcome, the symptoms can significantly affect a woman's life, both personally and professionally. Given the substantial health care costs, as well as indirect costs, and the potential decrease in quality of life due to NVP, providers need to acknowledge the impact of NVP and provide appropriate treatment.