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What is Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) during pregnancy?

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is a severe form of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy that affects around 2% of women during their first trimester. Unlike morning sickness, which is a common and mild discomfort experienced by many women during pregnancy, HG can be a debilitating and life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.


What are the symptoms of HG?

The main symptoms of HG are frequent and persistent nausea and vomiting, which can lead to dehydration and malnutrition. Women with HG may also experience weight loss, electrolyte imbalances, dizziness, and fainting. In severe cases, women may also experience abdominal pain, diarrhoea and constipation.


What causes HG?

The exact cause of HG is unknown, but it is believed to be related to the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. During pregnancy, the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) increases rapidly, which can lead to nausea and vomiting. Additionally, some women may be more sensitive to hCG, which can cause HG.

Other factors that may contribute to the development of HG include genetics, a history of migraines, anxiety, and a history of morning sickness during previous pregnancies.


What are the effects of HG on the mother and baby?

The effects of HG on the mother can be significant and can include malnutrition, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and weight loss. Women with HG may also experience depression and anxiety due to the debilitating nature of the condition.

In addition to affecting the mother, HG can also have an impact on the baby. Women with HG are more likely to experience a spontaneous abortion, premature birth, low birth weight, and developmental delays. Additionally, women with HG may require hospitalisation, which can be stressful and disruptive to the entire family.


How is HG diagnosed and treated?

HG is diagnosed through a physical examination and medical history, as well as blood and urine tests to assess dehydration and malnutrition.

Treatment for HG involves addressing the symptoms and underlying causes of the condition. This may include:

  • Antiemetic medication: Anti-nausea medication can help to reduce nausea and vomiting in women with HG.

  • Intravenous fluids: Women with HG may require intravenous fluids to replenish fluids lost due to frequent vomiting.

  • Nutritional support: Women with HG may need to receive nutrition through a feeding tube or intravenously to ensure that they receive the nutrients they need for both themselves and their baby.

  • Therapy: Women with HG may benefit from counseling and therapy to help them cope with the stress and anxiety associated with the condition.

  • Hospitalisation: In severe cases, women with HG may need to be hospitalized to receive treatment and to monitor the health of both the mother and baby.

What is the prognosis for women with HG?

The prognosis for women with HG varies depending on the severity of the condition and the availability of treatment. In many cases, women with HG are able to manage their symptoms with medication and other treatments, and the condition improves as they progress through their pregnancy. However, women with HG may need to take medication and receive treatment throughout their pregnancy to manage their symptoms.


In conclusion, Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a severe form of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy that affects around 2% of women during their first trimester. It is important for women to seek medical attention if they experience symptoms of HG, as it can be a debilitating and life-threatening condition. Treatment for HG involves addressing the symptoms and underlying causes of the condition, and women with HG may benefit from medication, intravenous fluids, nutritional support and therapy.


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