Handling Hyperemesis Gravidarum- The More Severe Morning Sickness

A more familiar descriptive term for hyperemesis gravidarum is acute morning sickness. Experiencing morning sickness during pregnancy can be really uncomfortable. The good news is that for most people, it usually goes away after 12 weeks. Hyperemesis gravidarum happens to be a more severe type of morning sickness. Let’s talk more about what it entails and how to manage it. 

What Is Hyperemesis Gravidarum?

Hyperemesis gravidarum is a condition that causes extreme nausea, vomiting, electrolyte disturbance, and weight loss during pregnancy. The condition can either be mild or severe. 

Differentiating Between Morning Sickness and Hg

For proper treatment, it is necessary to differentiate between these two conditions. The following are ways to set them apart.

Morning Sickness

  • It begins during the first month in pregnancy
  • It involves nausea and vomiting and usually disappears after 12-14 weeks. 
  • Vomiting does not lead to dehydration
  • It can cause fatigue and a slight appetite loss

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG)

  • It begins during the first six weeks in pregnancy
  • It includes nausea that doesn’t go away 
  • It does not allow you to keep any fluids or food down
  • The severe vomiting leads to severe dehydration
  • It causes fatigue that persists for weeks or even months
  • It leads to poor weight gain

A few women may experience HG symptoms throughout their pregnancy. Let’s create a clearer list of symptoms. A few of the most common are:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Constantly nauseated 
  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting over three or four times each day
  • Feeling dizzy or light-headed
  • Decreased urination
  • Confusion 
  • Headaches 
  • Losing over 5-10 percent body weight due to vomiting 

What Causes Hg?

There is no known reason that causes morning sickness or the more severe HG in pregnant women. However, speculation is that increase in the levels of hormones causes severe nausea. The absolute cause is still, however, unidentified. As a result, there is no way to prevent it. The best way to handle HG is through proper management. 

Treating Hg

Do not treat any condition while pregnant without first consulting your doctor. You can treat mild HG using rest, dietary changes, and antacids. A more severe case may require hospital stay due to the need for IV treatment. You may have to receive nutrition and fluids through an intravenous line (IV). It is important to seek treatment given the possibility of developing deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot) due to dehydration. 


Please note that development differs from one child to another. Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.

Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers.


Last reviewed January 2019

Sources: americanpregnancy, healthline, hyperemesis

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