In a study to be presented today at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting, in San Francisco, California researchers will discuss the effectiveness of measures that prevent severe morning sickness in pregnant women.
About two percent of pregnant women experience a very severe form of morning sickness during their pregnancy called Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). It leads to persistent nausea and vomiting and can be present in almost the entire pregnancy from the first till the last trimester. Some women might even feel the effect right up to the birth of the baby.
The condition may lead to severe dehydration and hospitalization with IV fluids. The chances of the same condition experienced during subsequent pregnancies are also very high between 75 to 85 percent. In certain cases it can also turn fatal.
Previously the use of drugs Diclectin in Canada and Bendectin in the US were prescribed during the onset of the symptoms, but they provide little relief.
To study the effect of the treatment if given before the onset of the symptoms, Dr. Gideon Koren and Caroline Maltepe, of The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, ON, Canada divided a group of 59 women in two groups. All these women had a previous history of HG or severe morning sickness.
One group was prescribed Diclectin in the onset of the symptoms and the other given the treatment as soon as they felt nauseas even before the symptoms of HG began.
The researchers found that women who were treated in the initial stages showed a drastic reduction in severe risk or vomiting.
There was a 43.3% reduction in the recurrence of HG with pre-emptive use of Diclectin as compared to only 20.6% reduction in the other group that was given medication only after the start of symptoms. Also 78 percent of the women who had been given precautionary treatment had their nausea and vomiting problem resolved before delivery as compared to 50 percent in the other group.
“This is the first time there is an answer,” said Dr. Koren. “Women who have experienced hyperemesis are so traumatized by it, they are afraid of a second pregnancy.”
This news will undoubtedly be good news for women who have dealt with such severe morning sickness to take medications before the onset of the similar symptoms during their subsequent pregnancies.