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The Impact of Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy on Quality of Life: Report of a National Consumer Survey and Recommendations for Improving Care

Clark, Shannon MD*; Hughes, Barbara CNM; McDonald, Susan Schwartz PhD

Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey: September 2013 - Volume 68 - Issue 9 - p S1–S10
doi: 10.1097/OGX.0b013e3182a8784d
Impact of Pregnancy Nausea & Vomiting on QOL

Nearly all pregnant women experience nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) to some degree, yet its effects on quality of life (QOL) have not been studied extensively. The National Voice of Pregnancy survey was undertaken to increase understanding about the symptoms of NVP and their impact on QOL in women in the United States. In all, 621 currently or recently pregnant women completed an online survey about their NVP experiences. Their responses indicated that NVP can occur at any time of day or night and can have negative effects on eating, sleeping, and ability to handle domestic and occupational responsibilities. Relationships with spouse, family, friends, and coworkers can also be adversely affected. The effects of NVP are greater in women with moderate or severe symptoms, but women with mild NVP are also affected. These findings are consistent with previous studies conducted in various countries. Women sometimes fail to discuss NVP with their health care providers, and QOL issues rarely come up if it is discussed. Most women try dietary and other lifestyle modifications first to control their symptoms. Safe and effective medications are also available to help ease the symptoms of NVP and thereby improve QOL.

*Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, TX; †Wilson Hughes Consulting, Denver, CO; and ‡National Analysts Worldwide, Philadelphia, PA

Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: The National Voice ofPregnancy Survey was commissioned by Duchesnay USA. DrClark and Ms Hughes have served as paid consultants to Duchesnay. Dr McDonald is president and chief executive officer of National Analysts Worldwide, which designed and conducted the survey and analyzed the results. She has also served as a paid consultant to Duchesnay.

Correspondence requests to: Shannon Clark, MD, The Universityof Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, 301 University Blvd, Galveston, TX 77555-0587. E-mail:

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.