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RCOG statement on report into severe pregnancy sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum

News 21 April 2015

The RCOG welcomes a new report by charities Pregnancy Support Sickness (PSS) and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) into the impact on women of severe pregnancy sickness, known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG).

View the report on the Pregnancy Sickness Support website

The report, published on Monday 20 April 2015, estimates that 10,000 women every year are affected by extreme nausea and vomiting during their pregnancies, which is much more severe than the morning sickness experienced by one in three pregnant women.

In a survey carried out for the report, fewer than one in ten of women affected said they were offered steroid therapy and 47% of those surveyed said they had either asked for medication, but it had been refused, or they were not offered any.

Dr Daghni Rajasingam, RCOG spokesperson, says, “HG is well understood and should be taken very seriously. We can start by giving women tablets to help the sickness, then, if necessary, bring them into hospital to receive intravenous fluids and nutrition and, in very severe cases, treat with steroids.

“An increase in public awareness of HG could make GPs and midwives more sympathetic towards patients who have severe pregnancy sickness. We also have to ensure that when women are pregnant, they have a contact to discuss these issues with."