PRE-PREGNANCY AND EARLY PREGNANCY PLANNING ADVICE FOR WOMEN AFFECTED BY SEVERE NAUSEA AND VOMITING IN A PREVIOUS PREGNANCY
Severe nausea and vomiting (Hyperemesis Gravidarum) (HG) is well known to be a very debilitating condition resulting in the pregnant woman having a very poor quality of life during what should be one of the most magical times in her life.
In my practice, I regularly see women in early pregnancy who have had a terrible experience with HG previously and are looking to avoid that experience in the current (or future) pregnancy. In a lot of them, the crippling quality of life (tiredness, exhaustion, fatigue, low mood, etc.) caused by the condition doesn’t completely resolve even if the extreme nausea and vomiting has started to recover by the second trimester of pregnancy.
Moreover, it is extremely heart-breaking but unfortunately true that a very small number of these women are so badly affected by the condition that they have to resort to drastic measures in the form of terminating the pregnancy. In this day and age, with the availability of pre-pregnancy advice and patient-tailored prophylactic medication in early pregnancy, this should not be happening.
Although HG is a pregnancy-specific condition and has a high recurrence rate, there are timely steps that can be taken pre-pregnancy that will certainly help in significantly reducing the overall severity of symptoms and improve the psychosocial welfare of the women as well as pregnancy outcomes. In addition, once the pregnancy test is positive there are safe, effective and patient-specific treatment plans that can be made in collaboration with your consultant to avoid the debilitating symptoms from a previous experience.
It would be really helpful to see a specialist Consultant to discuss these concerns if you have been affected and are either planning another pregnancy or are in the early pregnancy stage.
AAMIR KHAN (MBBS, FRCOG)
CONSULTANT OBSTETRICIAN AND GYNAECOLOGIST (special interest in Early Pregnancy)