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The Motherisk Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy (NVP) Forum

Motherisk receives questions from around the world about morning sickness symptoms, effects, treatments and ways to cope. Those questions and answers are posted here for anyone to read, provided the reader acknowledges and accepts the proviso and disclaimer below.

Forum > NVP Symptoms and Effects: Planning ahead
Trying to predict the likelihood of NVP

NVP Symptoms and Effects
Date: 2002-09-25

Question:
Hi, my husband and I discuss having children, but we know we would like to wait at least another 18 months before getting pregnant (we are married almost a year). However, I have emetophobia, which is the fear of vomiting. I have had this fear for a long time, and I go to a counselor to try and cope with it, I have been seeing my counselor for almost 2 years now for help with my fear of vomiting. The counseling has helped tremendously, but the thought of morning sickness is just terrible. Now, this will definitely not stop me from having children of my own. I have some questions that maybe you can shed some light on, so I can better understand morning sickness:

Am I at less risk of developing morning sickness because neither my mother nor my sister experienced it at all during their pregnancies?

Am I at less risk of having nausea and vomiting in pregnancy because I never felt nauseous from taking birth control pills?

When a woman gets sick and vomits from pregnancy sickness, does it feel the same as when you get a stomach virus and vomit, or is it better or worse than that?

Am I at greater risk if I simply worry about getting morning sickness?

I rarely vomit, and I never have vomited from taking any type of medication, and I have never had motion sickness of any kind. Am I at less risk of morning sickness?

I know these are a lot of questions, but I would really like some answers. This website has been helping a lot, and maybe some answers to these questions will also, because I want to have children more than anything!

Answer:
Even though some form of morning sickness does affect 50 percent to 80 percent of all pregnancies, there is a percentage of women who do not experience any morning sickness - you might be one of them. Besides, the causes of NVP are multifactorial and so symptoms cannot be predicted.

The fact that you never felt nauseous while taking birth control pills or other medications, and the fact that your mother and sister did not experience any NVP may be positive factors. However, the fact that you have never had motion sickness may not tell us much about the likelihood of your experiencing morning sickness.

The severity of vomiting is another difficult question. There is not one answer -- everyone is different. For a lot of women, vomiting can actually be a relief from nausea. Our first suggestion would be for you to address and work out the causes of your emetophobia, as you seem to be doing, and avoid the stress of worrying in advance -- after all, it may not be a problem for you.

If you do experience NVP, there are safe and effective treatments available. In Canada, the approved medication is Diclectin. Diclectin contains 10 mg of Vitamin B6 and 10 mg of doxylamine succinate in each delayed-release pill. This treatment, used for 40 years or so, will not increase the risk of birth defects above the baseline risk of 1 percent to 3 percent that is present in any pregnancy. You can read more about Diclectin in the Morning Sickness section of this website.

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