Chances are, at least at some point, if you're pregnant you'll spend some time running to the bathroom to vomit. It's not pretty, or fun, but it's usually a normal part of growing a baby inside of your body. In fact, nausea and vomiting is a common symptom throughout the first trimester — but what happens if your pregnancy nausea goes beyond what is expected? Here are eight signs your pregnancy nausea is a much bigger issue.
According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), nausea during pregnancy happens to a reported 70 percent of expecting mothers at some point during early pregnancy. Although this uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms typically lasts during the first trimester, and the first trimester only, it is possible to experience pregnancy nausea for much longer. The good news about your nausea, however, is that while it is uncomfortable, it is not actually harmful to you or your baby. In fact, morning sickness is often an indicator of a healthy pregnancy.
That doesn't mean it's uncommon to worry about your pregnancy nausea, though. For example, if you're attempting to manage and treat your nausea, but nothing seems to be working, you just might find some cause for concern. Read on for some of the reasons why you may want to call your doctor if your pregnancy nausea is not improving or getting worse:
1. Your Nausea Hasn't Faded By The Week 17
According to Parents, one of the common symptoms and complaints of pregnancy are morning sickness and nausea, and an estimated 60 to 80 percent of women experience this symptom of early pregnancy. Nausea and vomiting is typically caused by the hormonal changes that occur during gestation, but morning sickness can also be aggravated by stress or fatigue. The good news is that this typically fades by 17th week of pregnancy, for most women. However, in rare cases, a woman can actually experience morning sickness for much longer and you should talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your lingering morning sickness and nausea.
2. Your Nausea Is Accompanied By Fever Or Pain
Another reason to be concerned about your pregnancy nausea is if you experience vomiting that is accompanied by fever or pain. According to another article in Parents, this may be one reason to call the doctor during your pregnancy, as it goes beyond what's considered to be typical morning sickness. If you find yourself vomiting more than once a day or have fever and pain, then you need to dial your doctor's office. You could actually be experiencing a severe form of morning sickness that needs to be alleviated by prescription medication.
3. You're Taking Too Much Iron
Since vomiting is no one's idea of a good time, it's normal to look for ways to cope with your morning sickness during your pregnancy. According to another Parents article, one way to combat morning sickness is to find out what you can and can't tolerate when it comes to food. If adjusting your diet doesn't help, though, it is possible that you might be consuming too much iron. You should take a look at your prenatal vitamin or iron supplement, since, for some women, iron is actually difficult on an already-upset stomach. It's advisable to talk with your doctor about the possibility of skipping supplements until you feel better.
"It's more important to eat and drink than it is to take vitamins during pregnancy," Jon Matsunaga, MD, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at St. John's Hospital, said to Parents.
4. You Vomit Blood Or Can't Keep Down Fluids
According to the aforementioned Parents article on pregnancy symptoms and complains, another reason to be concerned about your nausea and morning sickness is if you begin to vomit blood, can't keep down fluids, or are showing signs of dehydration. Dehydration can present through scant, dark-colored urine, dizziness or faintness, or a pounding or racing heart. If any of these things happen to you while you're vomiting, then you need to call your doctor right away.
5. You Have Signs Of Indigestion
Are you suffering from heartburn, upper abdominal pain, a bitter taste in the mouth, or bloating? According to Patient.info, this is actually indigestion and a common problem in pregnancy. In fact, it actually occurs in about half of all pregnancies. The problem can become more serious, however, if the acid from your stomach washes up the esophagus and the tissues of the esophagus begin to resist the stomach acid, which can cause sore areas that are painful. It can especially be worse at night, when you are lying down after dinner and gravity is no longer acting in your favor to keep the stomach acid down. If this gets particularly painful, talk to your doctor about the indigestion and acid reflux issues.
6. You Throw Up Morning, Noon, & Night
According to the aforementioned Parents article on coping with morning sickness, some women spend their entire pregnancies throwing up all day long. So much for the "morning sickness happens in the morning" myth. However, this might not mean anything is actually wrong. In fact, experts believe that a lot of morning sickness is a sign that your pregnancy is progressing normally since the rapid rise in pregnancy hormones is what spurs nausea indicates a normal, healthy development of the fetus and placenta.
"We have seen higher rates of low birth weight babies and miscarriage in women who didn't have any morning sickness," Diane Ashton, MD, associate medical director of the March of Dimes, said to Parents.
7. You Have Gastroenteritis
According to Family Education, gastroenteritis is one of the digestive problems that can arrive during pregnancy and make your nausea worse. Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach and intestines, and is most likely caused by infection. When you have it, it causes vomiting and diarrhea that comes on suddenly, though in most cases the condition clears up on its own. However, it could also become severe if it lasts for more than 24 hours, which is when you should call your doctor. Prolonged gastroenteritis can cause dehydration and affect the blood flow to your baby through the placenta.
8. You Have Hyperemesis Gravidarum
According to Cleveland Clinic, another problem with nausea that pregnant women can have is when they develop hyperemesis gravidarum. This is an uncommon disorder that presents itself through extreme, persistent nausea and vomiting that occurs throughout the length of a pregnancy. Unfortunately, this condition can also lead to dehydration, and dehydration can cause a slew of other serious pregnancy complications. In fact, this particular kind of nausea during pregnancy can actually be life-threatening, according to Discover. Although it only presents in 3 percent of pregnancies, it is imperative that you call your doctor if you think you might have this condition.