Pregnancy Vivian | 27 Oct 2010 11:26 am

Find Out More About the Causes of Nausea During Pregnancy

Most women embrace their pregnancy as a joyous event to celebrate; however, the symptoms of morning sickness in early pregnancy can at times overshadow their happiness. While the exact causes of nausea during pregnancy have not been identified, the fact that a woman’s body does react to the numerous changes that are taking place once she has conceived should not be surprising.

At the onset of pregnancy, a woman’s body begins to release several hormones into her system. These hormones can cause a variety of side effects in much the same manner as many drugs do. These side effects may include the nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness.

It is widely believed that the likely cause of morning sickness during pregnancy is the hormone that is known as human chronic gonadotropin. The embryo produces HCG shortly after conception takes place; eventually, the placenta will take over the production of HCG. The function of HCG is to sustain the production of progesterone during pregnancy. The hormone, progesterone, is also a necessary hormone during pregnancy.

A pregnant woman’s level of progesterone increases during pregnancy because it aids in the relaxation of the uterine muscles as a way of preventing premature birth. It is speculated that progesterone may also be responsible for relaxing the muscles of the stomach and intestines. This increased relaxation may result in an excessive amount of stomach acids being produced; subsequently this may lead to the nausea and vomiting experienced by expectant mothers.

While estrogen is always present in a woman’s body during her childbearing years, the level of estrogen increases at a rapid rate during the first trimester of pregnancy. This rapid increase in estrogen may also contribute to the signs of morning sickness.

It is also theorized that nausea during pregnancy is the result of a vitamin B deficiency. While there has been some indication that vitamin B6 supplements when taken by mothers, help to alleviate the nausea of early pregnancy, it is uncertain why this relief occurs. According to one of the studies that were conducted, the level of vitamin B6 present in women experiencing pregnancy related nausea and those not suffering from it was not noteworthy.

Women who take a multivitamin beginning with the time of their conception appear less likely to suffer from severe morning sickness. Once again there is not a clear indication of why taking a multivitamin is beneficial in preventing the development of the these symptoms.

It has also been speculated that the nausea during pregnancy is not caused by the hormonal changes that a pregnant woman’s body undergoes; there is the theory that the nausea and vomiting associated with early pregnancy is due to other changes also occurring in a woman’s body after conception. Consideration has been given to the possibility that morning sickness results due to a woman’s heightened sense of smell and to her increased sensitivity to those smells. Many women when they are expecting develop a heightened response to certain aromas that cause them to experience nausea.

It has also been suggested that morning sickness in early pregnancy is the body’s reaction to the bodily stress that occurs once a woman has conceived. It is theorized that some women have a more sensitive gastrointestinal system and this results in them having a stronger reaction to the changes of early pregnancy. It is possible that this causes morning sickness and as a response to this nausea and vomiting, there is a higher level of stress created for some women. Perhaps this greater stress in turn aggravates the nausea and vomiting associated with the first trimester of pregnancy.

Luckily for most women morning sickness is a temporary malady that subsides around the 3rd or 4th month of pregnancy. Usually by the end of the first trimester, the significant changes that occur due to pregnancy begin to level off; this leveling off appears to be accompanied by a decrease in the symptoms associated with morning sickness.

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