Hypermesis Gravidarum

OBGYN Sheryl Ross, MD, explains what Hypermesis Gravidarum is, how it affects a pregnant mother and her baby, and how it is best treated
Hypermesis Gravidarum - Signs, Symptoms, and Treatments
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Hypermesis Gravidarum

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In pregnancy, nausea and vomiting is extremely common, accounting for 90% of what we call morning sickness in pregnancy. It generally starts at around 5 weeks and peaks at around 10 weeks. In extreme cases you can have nausea and vomiting that ultimately causes weight loss of the mother and if in fact the weight loss is more than 5% of your pre-pregnant body weight, this is now called Hypermesis Gravidarum. It’s extremely rare, we only see it in about 2% of pregnancies. We really don’t know the cause of Hypermesis Gravidarum, but some of the theories have to do with psychologically not wanting the pregnancy, having some ambivalence or just from the hormones that cause extreme nausea and vomiting. Treatment’s generally supported with IV hydration, medication to help stop the vomiting and nutrition. Acupuncture and acupressure can also be helpful in helping the symptoms lessen. Long-term complications for the fetus though, can be poor growth, intrauterine growth retardation and preterm labor. Maternal complications tend to be related to malnutrition.

OBGYN Sheryl Ross, MD, explains what Hypermesis Gravidarum is, how it affects a pregnant mother and her baby, and how it is best treated

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Sheryl Ross, MD

Obstetrician & Gynecologist

Sheryl A. Ross, MD, received her OB/GYN training at the University of Southern California School of Medicine and she was honored with two teaching awards as a senior medical resident. She was a medical consultant on the books Expecting Fitness and Two at a Time.  She also has appeared on MTV, consulted for Fit Pregnancy, People, In Touch, and Shape Magazine. She has been in private practice in Santa Monica, California for the past 20 years. In addition to her medical practice, Dr. Ross was the President of the Upper and Middle Division of Brentwood School and has been on the board of Planned Parenthood, Los Angeles, for three years. She is married and has three children.

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