Hormones, Pregnancy, and Morning Sickness

Posted on Aug 1, 2012 | Blog Posts, Morning Sickness Causes Category | | Print This Article

When we think of hormones and nausea, we typically think of how pregnant women often experience morning sickness.
Morning sickness is a fairly common symptom of pregnancy, and it is very likely caused by hormones. Around 70% of all new moms-to-be will experience morning sickness. Morning sickness can occur at any time of the day, not just during the morning. This nausea may be constant, as it is for some women; or, it may just occur occasionally. The degree to which you feel sick can also vary; you might just feel a little woozy, or you might experience full fledged vomiting. The rapidly changing hormone levels in your body, combined with an enhanced sense of smell and excess stomach acids are to blame. Other theories suggest that nausea during pregnancy is caused by the buildup of hCG (human Chorionic Gonadotropin). hCG continues to build up in your system until about the 12th week of your pregnancy, at which point the levels of hCG starts to decrease. This theory seems to be most consistent with actual experience.

Other women tend to experience nausea around the time that they ovulate. Here again, hormones are to blame for the nausea.
The changing hormone levels that take place during ovulation, particularly the increase in estrogen levels and the surge of luteinizing hormone, can cause this nausea. Sometimes, a woman’s stomach will produce extra digestive juices due to the changing hormone levels that take place. For other women the pain they may experience during ovulation, known as mittelschmerz, can create a nauseous feeling around ovulation, as well. For women who take certain medications or supplements, such as those undergoing fertility treatments, those taking an anti-inflammatory, or those who take larger does of vitamin C may be more susceptible to feeling nauseous around ovulation.

If you feel nauseous, there may be things that you can do to easy your nausea. Anti-nausea medications may help out, although in some cases these medications have side effects that may not be tolerable. In addition, if you are trying to conceive, you should talk to your health care provider about safe anti-nausea medications. Many women are able to get relief from their nauseous feeling through the use of herbs such as ginger, spearmint, peppermint, or chamomile. These herbs can be made into teas, or you can use them in an aromatherapy recipe. Sometimes, staying away from greasy or spicy foods around ovulation may reduce that nauseous feeling.

If your nausea is severe or persistent, you should see your health care provider to determine if there is some other problem or issue that is causing you to feel nauseous, rather than hormones.

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