Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy: literature review

Inga Vasilevskytė1,2

1Vilnius University, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius, Lithuania

2 Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Klinikos, Centre of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vilnius, Lithuania


Background. More than half of pregnant women suffer from nausea and vomiting, which typically begins by the fourth week and disappears by the 16th week of pregnancy. In 1 in 200 women, the condition progresses to hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). The cause of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is unknown, but may be due to the rise in human chorionic gonadotrophin concentration, neuromuscular factors. Therefore, treatment may be difficult because are the full effect of possible treatment on the fetus is not known. This article reviews the epidemiology, risk factors, diagnosis and various treatments for NVP.

Aim.To review the risk factors for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, diagnosis, possible treatments, their safety.

Methods. To review of the literature was performed based on the scientific databases of PubMed, Medline, Web of Science. The publications were selected using the following keywords: “Nausea”, “Vomiting”, “Treatment”, „Pregnancy“. A total of 47 articles were reviewed, 10 of which were rejected, published between 2009 and 2021. Results. NPV is probably the most common pregnancy disorder. The pathogenesis of NVP remains unclear, but it is thought that it may be multifactorial and genetically predisposed. NVP therapy depends on the severity of the disorder to improve symptoms while reducing the risk to the mother and fetus. Treatment includes dietary changes, pharmacological treatment, and acupuncture and acupressure.

Conclusions. The literature review provides information on the risk factors, diagnosis and the efficacy and safety of the various interventions: acupuncture; ginger; metoclopramide; ondansetron; and pyridoxine.


Keywords: nausea, vomiting, pregnancy, hyperemesis gravidarum, treatment.