Treatment Options for Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy

Authors

  • Dr. Martina L. Badell M.D.,

    1. Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School, Houston, Texas
    2. School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Susan M. Ramin M.D.,

    1. Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School, Houston, Texas
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Dr. Judith A. Smith Pharm.D., FCCP

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School, Houston, Texas
    2. School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York
    3. Division of Surgery, Department of Gynecologic Oncology, and the Division of Pharmacy, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
    Search for more papers by this author

BCOP, Division of Surgery, Department of Gynecologic Oncology, P.O. Box 301439, Unit 1362, Houston, TX 77230-1439; e-mail: jasmith@mdanderson.org.

Abstract

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.

Ancillary