Extreme Morning Sickness Linked to Pregnancy Risks, Study Finds

Actress Megan Fox
Actress Megan Fox. Photographer: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Pregnant women who experience extreme morning sickness in the second trimester are at much higher risk of developing conditions such as dangerously high blood pressure, according to a Swedish study.

Pregnancies with hyperemesis gravidarum in the second trimester were associated with a doubled risk of pre-eclampsia, compared with those without the condition, according to a review of the Swedish Medical Birth Register between 1997 and 2009. The risk of premature separation of the placenta was tripled and there was a 39 percent higher risk of low birth weight, according to the study, published today in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The 31-year-old Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton, was admitted to London’s King Edward VII Hospital with hyperemesis gravidarum, her office said Dec. 3. That was before the end of the first trimester, the British Broadcasting Corp. has reported. Pregnancy triggers such severe nausea in as many as 3 percent of women, usually requiring hospitalization to receive intravenous fluid.

“Pregnancies with hyperemesis gravidarum in the second trimester demand an increased alertness and supervision for the development of adverse outcomes,” the authors said in the published paper.

No strong associations were found between the condition and stillbirth risks, they said.

Further study is required to determine whether preventative treatment should be considered, the authors said. Previous studies have shown aspirin may reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia.

The safest and most reliable treatment for morning sickness is Diclectin, made by Blainville, Canada-based Duchesnay Inc., according to Gideon Koren, a pediatric pharmacologist at the Hospital for Sick Children, who has been studying the safety of drugs in pregnancy for decades.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE