Nausea in pregnancy, less risk of miscarriage

Fonte: Science Photo Library

About three in four pregnant women suffer from nausea, sometimes also associated with vomiting.

A more or less intense discomfort that generally only affects the first weeks or months and which, unlike what is usually believed, can occur at any time of the day. For many it is a real torment, but there is a positive side to the matter, because nausea and vomiting are associated with a lower risk of miscarriage in the first weeks of pregnancy.

In the past, some studies had already highlighted a relationship between mothers' malaise and the well-being of the embryo and fetus, but now a new and solid confirmation comes from an accurate survey conducted by researchers from the American National Institutes of Health, just published in the Jama Internal Medicine journal.

The researchers worked on data from a sample of women involved in a study to evaluate the effectiveness of aspirinetta in reducing the risk of miscarriage in those who have already suffered from it. The study therefore involved women with one or two losses behind them, who were looking for a new pregnancy and who had been asked to keep a daily diary for the entire period of the research and for the first eight weeks of pregnancy. A number of habits and conditions were to be noted in the diary, including episodes of nausea or vomiting.

Eventually, about 800 of the participants became pregnant in the period under consideration and about a quarter of them had a miscarriage (in most cases around 7 weeks of pregnancy). Well, analyzing the data, the researchers realized that abortion was more frequent for women who did not suffer from nausea or vomiting. In particular, for those who had had nausea there was a 50% less risk of abortion and for those who also had vomiting the risk was lowered by as much as 75%.

Of course, this doesn't mean that someone who is sick in the first few weeks of pregnancy will never have a fetal loss. Nor does it mean that those who are well have to worry, thinking that they will necessarily lose the child: these are statistical correlations, which simply illustrate a general trend. Said this, each pregnancy is a story in itself and it can be good or bad regardless of whether you had an upset stomach in the early days.


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The reason for this positive association between stomach discomfort and fetal protection remains to be clarified. The hypotheses in the field are different, yet all to be demonstrated: it could have to do with an increase in the levels of beta-Hcg, the pregnancy hormone, or it could be a evolutionary strategy to keep the woman and her baby away from potentially dangerous foods, which could interfere with the child's development. Indeed, it is no coincidence that some studies suggest that, in the first months of waiting, many women feel a strong aversion to unsafe foods and substances, such as alcohol, coffee, nicotine, but also fish, eggs and meat which, if eaten raw or undercooked, they could carry food infections. Finally, nausea and vomiting could be indirect signs that the placenta is functioning well.

Read also: How to recognize pregnancy nausea

  • pregnancy nausea
  • vomiting pregnancy
  • termination of pregnancy
  • weeks 1-13
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