Pregnancy sickness condition HG affects around 15,000 women each year – including, for both of her terms, the Duchess of Cambridge. Now a PhD student at the University of Plymouth is leading an international conference to help improve associated treatment.
Caitlin Dean is leading the International Colloquium on Hyperemesis Gravidarum (ICHG) 2017, for healthcare professionals, academics and patients themselves to share research and best practice into the condition.
Characterised by extreme nausea and vomiting, HG can lead to a host of complications from dehydration and weight loss to life threatening illness.
The event is run in collaboration with charity Pregnancy Sickness Support (PSS) and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), and takes place on 5-6 October at Royal Windsor Racecourse, Berkshire.
Welcoming speakers from around the world to showcase their recent work, the two-day programme includes topics such as nutritional guidelines, psychology of women affected by HG and genetic research behind the condition.
Caitlin, who is also chair of PSS, recently published research showing that the condition ‘left some women with no choice but terminate wanted pregnancies’, and hoped that researchers and healthcare professionals alike would attend to find out more.
“Care and treatment for hyperemesis has improved over the last few years,” she said. “But we do still have a long way to go. Unfortunately treatment can be quite hit and miss, and in some cases it’s still misdiagnosed as morning sickness – but it really is so much more than that. By attending this conference, we want to encourage professionals to standardise care across the UK and beyond so that all women can get the best care and treatment available. It will be an opportunity for researchers and healthcare professionals to learn about the latest developments and innovative treatments for the complex condition.”
Rebecca Painter, Gynaecologist specialised in Maternal Foetal Medicine at the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam, said:
“Despite the fact that we have no cure for hyperemesis, finding out more about hyperemesis will change the approach doctors have to patients with HG. Instead of feeling frustrated, as if their efforts as a healthcare professional are pointless, attending this conference will make them feel more able to understand, to help, to know what you can do for her. Listening to patients' stories about HG has helped me become a better doctor.”