Nausea, with or without vomiting, is the so-called morning sickness of pregnancy. As the name implies, the symptom is usually worse during the early part of the day and usually passes in a few hours, although it may last longer. More than 50% of all pregnant women in their first trimester have gastrointestinal symptoms. Although the cause is unknown, high levels of estrogen and hCG have been implicated in its development. Pregnant women are also hypersensitive to odors, and they may experience alterations in taste. Morning sickness usually improves after 12 to 16 weeks, when the hCG levels fall. Severe vomiting may occur, resulting in dehydration and ketosis, but this is uncommon, occurring in fewer than 2% of pregnancies.
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