Nausea, Vomiting Associated with Reduced Risk of Pregnancy Loss


Media Advisory: To contact corresponding author Enrique F. Schisterman, Ph.D., call Robert Bock or Meredith Daly at 301-496-5133 or email

Related material: The commentary, “Toward a Deeper Understanding of Nausea, Vomiting and Pregnancy Loss,” by Siripanth Nippita, M.D., M.S., and Laura E. Dodge, Sc.D., M.P.H., of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, also is available.

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JAMA Internal Medicine

Many women suffer nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy and a new study published online by JAMA Internal Medicine suggests those symptoms may be associated with reduced risk of pregnancy loss.

As many as 80 percent of pregnant women report nausea or vomiting or both. Enrique F. Schisterman, Ph.D., of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md., and coauthors examined the relationship between nausea and vomiting and pregnancy loss in a secondary analysis of women with one or two prior pregnancy losses enrolled in a clinical trial.

The study included 797 women who had urine test-confirmed pregnancies and nausea symptoms that were tracked in pregnancy diaries and questionnaires. Among 797 women, 188 pregnancies (23.6 percent) ended in loss.

At week two of gestation, nearly 18 percent of women (73 of 409) reported nausea without vomiting and 2.7 percent of women (11 of 409) reported nausea with vomiting. Those proportions grew to 57.3 percent of women (254 of 443) and 26.6 percent of women (118 of 443), respectively, by gestational week eight, the study reports.

Nausea and nausea with vomiting were associated with a 50 percent to 75 percent reduction in the risk of pregnancy loss in women with one or two prior pregnancy losses, according to the authors. A number of theories have been proposed regarding the potential mechanism of this association.

“Our study confirms prior research that nausea and vomiting appear to be more than a sign of still being pregnant and instead may be associated with a lower risk for pregnancy loss,” the study concludes.

(JAMA Intern Med. Published online September 26, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.5641 Available pre-embargo to the media at

Editor’s Note: The article contains funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.


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