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What Is The Major Cause Of Morning Sickness?

The cause of morning sickness is not known. Certain factors increase the risk of morning sickness. These factors include compromised immunity, stress, low blood sugar, stress, psychological condition, and altered hormonal level.

What Is The Major Cause Of Morning Sickness?

What Is The Major Cause Of Morning Sickness?

Altered hormonal level and reduced immunity are known to be major causes for morning sickness.

Pregnancy leads to significant changes in the level of hormones in the body. These changes are essential for maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Some hormones, such as hCG are present to indicate the presence of pregnancy. Some hormones such progesterone is helpful in maintaining the pregnancy and healthy development of the fetus.

Increase in estrogen level helps support the developing fetus and supply nutrients. The level of estrogen rapidly increases which leads to nausea and vomiting. Progesterone also helps increase in the size of the uterus to accommodate the fetus by losing the joint and muscles.

Another major cause is a compromised immune system that occurs during pregnancy. The vomiting center is hyperactivated due to the fact that any toxin that may be harmful to the fetus can be rejected by the body.

There is no exact cause known for morning sickness. Further, various women have different reasons for the occurrence of morning sickness. Following are the general conditions that might have caused morning sickness:

Altered Hormonal Level. As the women get conceived, significant hormonal changes occur to maintain pregnancy. These changes occur so fast that the body is not able to adjust resulting in morning sickness.

Psychological Reason. Various psychological reason also adds up to the severity of morning sickness. The women may suffer from anxiety of pregnancy. Morning sickness may also occur when women have fear of labor.

Allergic Reaction. Morning sickness may occur to various allergic reactions occurring in the body due to pregnancy. The allergic reaction may be against the issues such s corpus luteum or against the increased level of hormones.

Stress. Stress is another condition that may lead to morning sickness. The stress may further activate the already activated vomiting center leading to increased severity of morning sickness.

Hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar, during pregnancy, leads to morning sickness. Both morning sickness and low sugar are the simultaneous and interdependent condition. Morning sickness i.e. nausea and vomiting lead to depletion of carbohydrate and reduced sugar level and further low sugar level also triggers motion sickness.

Genetics. Scientists have also found out the genetic intervention in morning sickness in the pregnancy. The code which is responsible for nausea and vomiting is most prominently seen in pregnancy. This is said to be an evolutionary process which compensates for the reduced immunity.

Reduced Immunity. Pregnancy leads to the compromised immune system. Thus, to protect the fetus from the unwanted toxins and allergic food, the vomiting center is hyperactivated. In such cases, the slightest of irritant in the form of food leads to nausea and vomiting.

Nutritional Deficiency. As the nutritional requirement of the mother during pregnancy is increased as the fetus is also consuming nutrition for healthy growth and development. Thus, extra nutrition should be provided to the mother. Studies indicate that supplementing certain vitamins such as pyridoxine helps in preventing morning sickness.

Triggers. Various triggers also lead to morning sickness. These include highly acidic food, irritant odor, and allergic food.

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is a common condition in pregnancy that occurs to almost 50% of the pregnancy. The condition is severe in multiple pregnancies. The exact cause of morning sickness is not known. However, certain conditions may increase severity. The symptoms experienced by the patient suffering from morning sickness include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue, dehydration, low blood sugar, weakness, and headache. Morning sickness may further lead to a more serious condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum.


Significantly altered hormonal level and compromised immune system are the major causes that increase the severity of morning sickness. Body does not able to adjust to the rapid rise in hormonal levels leading to morning sickness.


  1. American Pregnancy Association. (2021). Morning Sickness Relief: How to Manage Nausea During Pregnancy. https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/pregnancy-concerns/morning-sickness-relief-9628/
  2. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2021). Pregnancy and Nausea. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/pregnancy-nausea
  3. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Morning Sickness: Symptoms & Causes. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/morning-sickness/symptoms-causes/syc-20375254
  4. Bolin, M., Åkerud, H., Cnattingius, S., & Stephansson, O. (2013). Hyperemesis gravidarum and risks of placental dysfunction disorders: a population-based cohort study. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 120(5), 541-547. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23278185/
  5. Fejzo, M. S., & MacGibbon, K. W. (2020). Hyperemesis gravidarum: current perspectives. International Journal of Women’s Health, 12, 691-700. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7491928/

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 16, 2023

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