When does nausea start when pregnant?

Nausea caused by pregnancy, sometimes called “morning sickness,” is a fairly common symptom of pregnancy. Around 70% of all new moms-to-be will experience morning sickness. Morning sickness can occur at any time of the day, not just during the morning. This nausea may be constant, as it is for some women; or, it may just occur occasionally. The degree to which you feel sick can also vary; you might just feel a little woozy, or you might experience full fledged vomiting.

Nausea is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. While breast tenderness is often the first noticeable sign of pregnancy, nausea usually starts quickly after that. Nausea can begin as early as the second week of your pregnancy. Most of the time, nausea does not start until between the fourth and sixth weeks of pregnancy. This will typically be between five and seven weeks after the end of the last menstrual period. Nausea during pregnancy typically subsides between the 12th and 14th weeks of pregnancy.

Other symptoms of pregnancy can accompany or follow nausea. These might include:

– breast tenderness
– breast swelling
– backache
– excessive salivation
– darkening of the areola
– frequent urination
– headache
– increased sense of smell
– food cravings
– constipation

Researchers are not certain what causes nausea during pregnancy. It may be that the rapidly changing hormone levels in your body, combined with an enhanced sense of smell and excess stomach acids are to blame. Other theories suggest that nausea during pregnancy is caused by the buildup of hCG (human Chorionic Gonadotropin). hCG continues to build up in your system until about the 12th week of your pregnancy, at which point the levels of hCG starts to decrease. This theory seems to be most consistent with actual experience.

Not all moms-to-be will experience nausea. Some research has linked a lack of nausea to an increased rate of miscarriage, but there have been other studies that suggest the opposite. There is no conclusive research to suggest that a lack of morning sickness indicates any sort of problem with the pregnancy.


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