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Survey of Women's Experiences of HG - Results

The results were presented at the Pregnancy Sickness Support conference 2013. A summary is available on the PSS website MOH Conference presentation

The full results are given in documents 'OHARA 2012 Womens experiences of HG'

Abstract

An online survey on the website www.pregnancysicknesssos.co.uk was conducted between June 2011 and December 2012 in which women were asked to self report their experience of Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). 114 women, predominantly from the United Kingdom, completed the survey reporting on a total of 229 pregnancies in which they had HG. Of those women who had had more than one pregnancy (75), 68% had had HG in every pregnancy. There was a small association with female fetus and 35% of respondents had a maternal relative with HG. Previous awareness of HG was low (26%), the majority reported low awareness amongst family and friends and a quarter reported lack of sympathy amongst employers. There is a peak in diagnosis between 7-8 weeks of pregnancy, with most women suffering for fewer than 4 weeks before diagnosis. 73% had been admitted for fluids, 40% of these as emergencies. 94% had taken antiemetic medications, the mean number of antiemetics tried was 2.5. The most widely used was cyclizine and the most effective was ondansetron. The only non-pharmacological remedy which was widely effective was rest. Ginger was cited by no respondents as being helpful and seabands by only 5%. The mean week of improvement in symptoms was 21 weeks and the mean week by which symptoms had stopped was 36. This reflects the finding that symptoms lasted until birth in 68% of pregnancies. Women's experiences of GP treatment was extremely varied from excellent to poor. In UK-based women only, women encountered GPs who were unsympathetic (51%), not knowledgeable (52%) and unwilling to prescribe medication (49%). Women expressed distress at health care professionals who trivialised their symptoms, simply did not believe them or attributed them to mental health issues. Women described HG as lonely, awful and horrific. They said that what would have improved their experience was more support from and education amongst health care professionals, emotional support and better medication.


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