Nausea & Vomiting

Morning sickness, a common symptom of pregnancy often occurring in the first trimester, characterised by nausea and vomiting.

Despite its name, morning sickness can strike at any time of day or night. It affects a significant number of pregnant individuals, with varying degrees of severity from mild nausea to the more severe condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum.


Nausea and vomiting affects a significant number of pregnant individuals, with varying degrees of severity from mild nausea to the more severe condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum.

Causes & Risk Factors

The exact cause is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to the rapid hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy, especially the increase in human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and estrogen. Other factors that may contribute include:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Sensitivity to changes in the digestive system
  • Stress

Certain factors may increase the risk of experiencing morning sickness, such as:

  • First pregnancy
  • History of nausea and vomiting in previous pregnancies
  • History of motion sickness or migraines
  • Pregnancy with twins or higher multiples
  • History of certain medical conditions, like gastrointestinal issues


Symptoms of morning sickness include:

  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Sensitivity to certain smells
  • Frequent salivation
  • A feeling of bloatedness

For most, symptoms start around the 6th week of pregnancy and tend to improve by the end of the first trimester, although some may experience it longer.

Management and Treatment

While there is no cure for morning sickness, several strategies can help manage the symptoms:

  • Dietary Changes: Eating small, frequent meals throughout the day rather than three large meals can help. Bland, dry foods like crackers, and avoiding spicy, fatty, or highly odorous foods may also reduce nausea.
  • Hydration: Small, frequent sips of water or ginger ale can help maintain hydration, which is crucial.
  • Ginger: Ginger supplements or ginger tea are often recommended for their nausea-reducing properties.
  • Vitamin B6 Supplements: Vitamin B6 has been shown to help reduce the severity of nausea during pregnancy.
  • Rest: Adequate rest is important, as fatigue can worsen the symptoms of morning sickness.
For those with severe morning sickness or hyperemesis gravidarum, medical treatment may be necessary. This can include anti-nausea medications, IV fluids for hydration, and, in some cases, hospitalisation to manage dehydration and nutritional deficiencies.

When to See a Doctor

While morning sickness is generally not harmful to the pregnancy, it is important to consult a healthcare provider if you experience: Signs of dehydration (such as dark urine, dizziness, or infrequent urination) Inability to keep food or liquids down for 24-hours Severe vomiting Weight loss or insufficient weight gain during pregnancy
Morning sickness is a common part of pregnancy, with various degrees of severity. Understanding the symptoms, risk factors, and management strategies can help navigate this challenging symptom. Always start with your GP for personalised advice and treatment options, especially if symptoms are severe or impacting daily life.

For more Information, please visit The Royal Women’s Hospital here.

Get in touch with our friendly team.

Dr Genia Rozen is a Melbourne gynaecologist and fertility specialist with 10+ years of experience dedicated to fertility medicine.

She holds a Masters of Reproductive Medicine (MRMED) degree and undertook three years of sub-specialising training in Fertility and Reproductive Medicine at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne. She is affiliated with Genea Fertility who are recognised leaders in advanced reproductive laboratory services.

Please get in touch if you have a question or wish to book an appointment.