Nausea During Pregnancy – the Basics

Nausea During Pregnancy - late pregnancy dinosaurNausea during pregnancy can take a lot of the pleasures of being pregnant. When morning sickness strikes the joy can easily be rapidly destroyed. The sad fact is that the morning sickness is more likely to strike at the start of the pregnancy than at the end so when you are at your most joyful, morning sickness can bring you down. The reasons for morning sickness have not been determined with absolute certainty. However, there are many indications that it becomes a logically deducible as to what is happening, especially as there are several body changes happening during pregnancy.

Nausea During Pregnancy and Hormones

Several different hormones are released by a pregnant woman’s body.  There may be a few unpleasant side effects from the increased hormones just like with many drugs, the internal equilibrium is disturbed.Nausea During Pregnancy - man and woman shadow


The one hormone most likely for morning sickness is believed to be the hormone HCG. Human chronic gonadotropin has been reduced to HCG. The embryo makes this hormone soon after conception and, later on, the placenta takes over the manufacture. The role of HCG is to maintain the progesterone production which is another pregnancy critical hormone. This particular hormone might itself be what stimulates the morning sickness.


Progesterone might at least be a contributor to morning sickness. Early childbirth is prevented by the progesterone surge in the body which relaxes the uterus muscles. Maybe progesterone overdoes the job and as a result, the stomach and intestines might be relaxed to the extent that excess acids land up in the stomach and the result is often vomiting and nausea.

Estrogen is another hormone to consider in understanding the cause of the nausea and vomiting that comes with the first stages of pregnancy. Estrogen rises rapidly in early pregnancy but is already in the physically mature body of a woman.

Nausea During Pregnancy and Vitamins

Nausea During Pregnancy - vitaminsThere may even be a vitamin responsible for all of this; a vitamin B deficiency has been suggested as being a responsible for morning sickness. The feeling of sickness in pregnant women does seem to be eased by taking a vitamin B6 supplement. However, this does not mean that sufferers have a lack of vitamins. There have been some contradictory studies on B6 levels and their effect on morning sickness so it is still not clear what help is given by B6. There have also been indications that severe morning sickness can be prevented in early pregnancy by taking a multivitamin as soon as a baby is conceived.

Nausea During Pregnancy and Sensitivities

Since nobody really knows what produces the morning sickness, it may even be that the body hormone levels are responsible. There might be other things in the body triggering the reactions.   For some reason a pregnant woman often has more sensitive smelling sense and is more sensitive to odors. This may explain why pregnant women have their gag reflex instantly triggered by certain aromas. This might only be because of the sense of smell or it might have something to do with the increased levels of estrogen.   There might even be sensitivity in some women in the early stages of pregnancy in the gastrointestinal tracts in the same way that smell is enhanced perhaps the gastrointestinal tract is more sensitive.

Talk about sensitivities, some women might be predisposed to having an abdominal reaction to stress that result in having vomiting and nausea attacks. Generally, by observation it is clear that the higher the intensity of vomiting and nausea then the higher the stress levels of the woman. It just becomes a vicious circle as the higher stress levels create more vomiting and nausea.

Nausea During Pregnancy – How Long

Experts do not know definitely what triggers morning sickness but they do know that in most cases, it only lasts for a portion of the pregnancy. Generally speaking, the symptoms ease of as the hormone levels stabilize which is by the third month in the pregnancy. The intestinal issues also seem to resolve themselves by this time and this also helps to ease off the morning sickness.


More information from WebMD and from Wikipedia

An overview of nausea during pregnancy can be found here