Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy: what about quality of life?

BJOG. 2008 Nov;115(12):1484-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2008.01891.x. Epub 2008 Aug 25.


Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the impact of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) and other determinants on generic and NVP-specific health-related quality of life (QOL) in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Design: Prospective study.

Setting: Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) Sainte-Justine or René-Laennec clinics, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Population: Pregnant women attending the clinics for their prenatal care from 2004 to 2006. Women were eligible if they were > or =18 years of age and < or =16 weeks of gestation at the time of their first prenatal visit.

Methods: After their first prenatal visit, women were asked to fill out a questionnaire covering maternal characteristics, presence and severity of NVP, and health-related QOL.

Main outcome measures: QOL was measured by the generic 12-item Short Form Health Survey v.1 (SF-12) and the NVP-specific Quality of Life for Nausea and Vomiting during Pregnancy.

Results: Of the 367 pregnant women included in the study, 78.5% of women reported NVP in the first trimester of pregnancy. Multivariable linear models showed that presence of NVP in the first trimester of pregnancy was significantly associated with a lower physical component summary scale (P < 0.0001) and mental component summary scale (P = 0.0066) of the SF-12 scores. More severe NVP (moderate versus mild: P = 0.0002; severe versus mild: P = 0.0177 as measured by the validated modified Pregnancy-Unique Quantification of Emesis and Nausea index), intensity of nausea symptoms reported on a visual analogue scale (P < 0.0001), and nonpharmacological methods used to ease NVP symptoms in the first trimester of pregnancy (P = 0.0059) were significantly associated with poorer NVP-specific QOL among women suffering from NVP.

Conclusion: These findings show that presence and severity of NVP have a negative impact on health-related QOL, which emphasises the importance of an optimal management of NVP.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Maternal Age
  • Morning Sickness / psychology*
  • Morning Sickness / therapy
  • Parity
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Quebec
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult