Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of brjgenpracRCGP homepageJ R Coll Gen Pract at PubMed CentralBJGP at RCGPBJGP at RCGP
Br J Gen Pract. 1993 June; 43(371): 245–248.
PMCID: PMC1372422

A prospective study of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.


The symptoms of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy were described by 363 pregnant women who kept daily symptom diaries. All delivered a single live baby. The majority of information collected was prospective, with the median day from last menstrual period to initial interview by the study midwife being day 57. It was found that 80% of women had symptoms, 28% experienced nausea only, while 52% had nausea and vomiting. The mean number of days from last menstrual period to onset and cessation of symptoms was 39 and 84, respectively, and 40% of women's symptoms ended abruptly. Cessation of symptoms occurred at approximately the same day from the last menstrual period whether they had begun early or later, severely or mildly [corrected]. The median total number of hours of nausea per pregnancy in those 292 women experiencing symptoms was 56, with peak symptoms occurring in the ninth week. Eighty five per cent of women experienced days with two episodes of nausea. Fifty three per cent of episodes of vomiting occurred between 06.00 hours and 12.00 hours. The symptom complex can be defined as episodic daytime pregnancy sickness. Among the study population, 206 women were in paid employment. Seventy three of these women (35%) spent a mean of 62 hours away from their paid work because of symptoms of nausea and vomiting, showing the socioeconomic significance of this condition. The detailed information gathered should help in the investigation of the aetiology of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (912K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Järnfelt-Samsioe A, Samsioe G, Velinder GM. Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy--a contribution to its epidemiology. Gynecol Obstet Invest. 1983;16(4):221–229. [PubMed]
  • Tierson FD, Olsen CL, Hook EB. Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy and association with pregnancy outcome. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1986 Nov;155(5):1017–1022. [PubMed]
  • Fairweather DV. Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1968 Sep 1;102(1):135–175. [PubMed]
  • Järnfelt-Samsioe A, Eriksson B, Waldenström J, Samsioe G. Some new aspects on emesis gravidarum. Relations to clinical data, serum electrolytes, total protein and creatinine. Gynecol Obstet Invest. 1985;19(4):174–186. [PubMed]
  • Klebanoff MA, Koslowe PA, Kaslow R, Rhoads GG. Epidemiology of vomiting in early pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol. 1985 Nov;66(5):612–616. [PubMed]
  • SEMMENS JP. Hyperemesis gravidarum; evaluation and treatment. Obstet Gynecol. 1957 May;9(5):586–594. [PubMed]
  • MEDALIE JH. Relationship between nausea and/or vomiting in early pregnancy and abortion. Lancet. 1957 Jul 20;273(6986):117–119. [PubMed]
  • Brandes JM. First-trimester nausea and vomiting as related to outcome of pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol. 1967 Sep;30(3):427–431. [PubMed]
  • Kullander S, Källén B. A prospective study of drugs and pregnancy. II. Anti-emetic drugs. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 1976;55(2):105–111. [PubMed]
  • Little RE, Hook EB. Maternal alcohol and tobacco consumption and their association with nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 1979;58(1):15–17. [PubMed]
  • Vellacott ID, Cooke EJ, James CE. Nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 1988 Aug;27(1):57–62. [PubMed]
  • Depue RH, Bernstein L, Ross RK, Judd HL, Henderson BE. Hyperemesis gravidarum in relation to estradiol levels, pregnancy outcome, and other maternal factors: a seroepidemiologic study. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1987 May;156(5):1137–1141. [PubMed]
  • DiIorio C. First trimester nausea in pregnant teenagers: incidence, characteristics, intervention. Nurs Res. 1985 Nov-Dec;34(6):372–374. [PubMed]
  • Clarke M, Clayton DG, Mason ES, MacVicar J. Asian mothers' risk factors for perinatal death--the same or different? A 10 year review of Leicestershire perinatal deaths. BMJ. 1988 Aug 6;297(6645):384–387. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Parhar RS, Kennedy TG, Lala PK. Suppression of lymphocyte alloreactivity by early gestational human decidua. I. Characterization of suppressor cells and suppressor molecules. Cell Immunol. 1988 Oct 15;116(2):392–410. [PubMed]

Articles from The British Journal of General Practice are provided here courtesy of Royal College of General Practitioners