Treatments

Contrary to popular belief, there are a number of effective anti-emetic (anti- sickness) medications that can be taken in the first trimester of pregnancy. HG is typically at it's worst in the first trimester and it is important that treatment is begun without delay. Research indicates that anti-emetics are more effective the sooner they are begun, and the most recent treatment protocols recommend prompt intervention.

There is a tendency for GPs to leave women without help until they have lost weight and require IV fluids for dehydration. This is not considered to be best practice. HG can be managed so that no in-patient treatment is required.  The guidelines recommend that antiemetics are safe and that they should be given as needed. Weight loss and IV fluid therapy should not be a pre-requisite for either diagnosis or treatment and quality of life must be taken into consideration. This is all enshrined in the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists clinical practice guidelines published in 2016.The guidelines are available on the Documents page or online from the RCOG guidelines site RCOG GTG.

For more information on treatments see Medications. Unfortunately many GPs in the UK are unaware of modern treatment protocols for the management of HG. If your GP is unable to or unwilling to give you medication and you want to pursue this treatment option see Obtaining Treatment. If you are unsure whether your GP is doing all they can for you, see the results of our survey on good practice to see what is considered a good standard of care by other women Survey Good Practice results

If you want to avoid taking pharmaceuticals, or want to try additional treatments, see Alternative Remedies for information. Evidence for the effectiveness of alternative treatments is lacking  and even anecdotally very few women are able to control HG successfully without using pharmaceuticals. While ginger has been shown to be more effective than placebo for mild to moderate pregnancy sickness, it has not been shown to be more effective than antiemetics. Ginger is not effective for women with HG, and it can actually make symptoms worse. For evidence of this, see Stop Telling us to Take Ginger