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Morning sickness is often presented in film and TV as a funny or awkward inconvenience that clues the characters into the fact that they might be pregnant. In reality, morning sickness can be much more severe than this. It can even be bad enough that you may need to end your pregnancy.
Morning sickness is a type of nausea and vomiting that approximately 70% of women experience during pregnancy. Although we don’t know exactly why it happens, morning sickness is thought to be a side effect of pregnancy hormones.
Morning sickness doesn’t affect everyone the same way and it doesn’t always happen in the morning. Most women will only have mild morning sickness during the first three months of pregnancy. However, some won’t experience any nausea at all while others will have more severe sickness or feel it for much longer. In some cases, the symptoms will improve after 5 months of they didn’t go away at the end of the first trimester, but in others the morning sickness can continue throughout the whole pregnancy.
For some women, morning sickness can be so severe that it prevents them from eating and drinking normally and puts them at risk of serious complications. This is known as hyperemesis gravidarum and it affects approximately 10,000 women in the UK every year.
In the most severe forms, hyperemesis gravidarum can cause constant vomiting and prevent women from even taking a drink of water without being sick. Women who are affected by this complication during pregnancy can experience serious health problems:
In the most severe cases, dehydration or DVT caused by hyperemesis gravidarum can even be fatal.
People who are unaware of how severe morning sickness can be may be shocked at the idea that women could have a termination because of it. However, hyperemesis gravidarum is nothing like the mild morning sickness that most of us are familiar with.
Approximately 1 in 10 women who have hyperemesis gravidarum will choose to have an abortion. Although treatment can help with the symptoms, having such severe morning sickness can make it impossible to work or care for any existing children. It can also take a big toll on your health and energy levels.
However, as with any abortion, ending a pregnancy because of morning sickness is a very personal decision. It will depend on how severe your symptoms are, how much support you are able to get, and how you feel about ending the pregnancy. You should reach out for help from your doctors as treatments such as anti-nausea medication may help, but it can also be a good idea to visit an abortion clinic to get advice on your options. You need to make the choice that is right for you.