A new study published online by JAMA Internal Medicine suggests the “morning sickness” symptoms of nausea and vomiting may be associated with reduced risk of pregnancy loss. As many as 80% of pregnant women report nausea or vomiting or both. Researchers from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in the US examined the relationship between nausea and vomiting and pregnancy loss in a secondary analysis of women with one or two prior pregnancy losses enrolled in a clinical trial. The study included 797 women who had urine test-confirmed pregnancies and nausea symptoms that were tracked in pregnancy diaries and questionnaires. Among 797 women, 188 pregnancies (23.6%) ended in loss. At week 2 of gestation, nearly 18% of women (73 of 409) reported nausea without vomiting and 2.7% of women (11 of 409) reported nausea with vomiting. Those proportions grew to 57.3% of women (254 of 443) and 26.6% of women (118 of 443), respectively, by gestational week 8, the study reported. Nausea and nausea with vomiting were associated with a 50–75% reduction in the risk of pregnancy loss in women with one or two prior pregnancy losses, according to the authors. A number of theories have been proposed regarding the potential mechanism of this association. “Our study confirms prior research that nausea and vomiting appear to be more than a sign of still being pregnant and instead may be associated with a lower risk for pregnancy loss,” the authors concluded.
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