Is it necessary to have morning sickness diagnosed or tested?

Is it necessary to have morning sickness diagnosed or tested?

Is it necessary to have morning sickness diagnosed or tested?

Unless, symptoms of nausea and vomiting are intense, it is not normally necessary to have morning sickness diagnosed. If bothersome and accompanied by other symptoms, diagnosis is generally fairly straightforward.

A woman is at risk of dehydration and malnourishment if she is struggling to keep anything down for a period of time (for 24 hours or longer). If a woman displays any symptoms associated with hyperemesis gravidarum, as well as experiences abdominal pain (stomach ache or pain) and a high fever, it is strongly advisable to consult a doctor for assessment.

It can happen that a woman may have a urinary tract infection (UTI), which affects both the bladder and kidneys, resulting in nausea and vomiting too. If a woman experiences pain when passing urine, notices any blood in her urine, or spotting, she will need to seek medical treatment within 24 hours.

Whether intense nausea and vomiting is as a result of an UTI or hyperemesis gravidarum, a diagnosis by a medical doctor will need to be made. This will require a consultation and potentially a series of tests as well.

During a consultation, some questions a doctor may ask include:

  • For how long have symptoms of nausea and vomiting been experienced?
  • How often do waves of nausea, or nausea and vomiting occur?
  • Are these bouts of queasiness mild or severe?
  • Do these symptoms occur at roughly the same time of day or constantly?
  • Does anything appear to trigger or aggravate nausea and/or vomiting?
  • Have you tried anything to try and alleviate symptoms?
  • Have your efforts made you feel better or worse?

If necessary, the following tests may be recommended:

  • Urine sample: This will be ordered to test for any signs of dehydration. A doctor will also check a woman’s ketone levels in her urine. If these are found to be high, she may have become malnourished.
  • Blood chemistry test: A CBC (complete blood count), comprehensive metabolic panel and Chem-20 (to measure the level of electrolytes in the blood) may be requested. All tests will be checked for signs of dehydration, anaemia, vitamin deficiency and malnourishment.
  • Ultrasound: Sounds waves which deliver a visual image of the inside of a woman’s uterus and a growing baby will be carefully looked at to assess whether he or she is developing at a healthy rate. Sounds will also be carefully assessed during an ultrasound for any potential problems. If need be, an ultrasound can also be done to confirm whether or not a woman is expecting more than one baby, as well as check for any other potential underlying medical conditions which would explain overall symptoms.

Pregnant woman having an ultrasound scan.

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