Experience of hyperemesis gravidarum in a subsequent pregnancy


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Abstract

Objective:Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) has a high recurrence rate so women are likely to suffer from it in a subsequent pregnancy. A lack of awareness in the first pregnancy can compound the condition and delay treatment. We aimed to examine how subsequent pregnancies differ and to explore what factors determine whether a woman has more or fewer hospital admissions.Design:A self-selected internet-based survey.Setting:Participants were all recruited principally through social media and UK-based.Sample:One hundred and seventy-two women who had had at least two HG pregnancies within the past ten years.Methods:Internet survey platform Survey Monkey.Main outcome measures:Questions were mostly asked using Likert-type scales with the option for additional free text responses.Results:Overall, the number of hospital admissions were lower in the later pregnancy. Women attributed this to having earlier access to antiemetics, more support with domestic duties and a reluctance to be separated from their children. Where admissions were higher, it was due to the added stress of child care and/or worse underlying symptoms, meaning women opting to be admitted as rehydration was the only thing which gave relief.Conclusions:Women are advised to start antiemetic treatment earlier in their next pregnancy and put in place sources of support to help with child care. Hospitals could improve services by providing rapid rehydration day units.

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