New research suggests that more than half of women suffering with severe pregnancy sickness – Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) – are not given the help they need to deal with the condition; leaving some with no choice but to terminate wanted pregnancies.
The study was carried out by Caitlin Dean, PhD student in the School of Health Professions, alongside charities Pregnancy Sickness Support (PSS) and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS).
The researchers surveyed the experiences of 394 women, finding that only 34 per cent of participants felt they were given accurate information to make informed decisions about medications and treatment.
Many women reported being given false information about the risks of drugs such as Ondansetron, a treatment listed in the Royal Collage of Obstetrician and Gynaecologists Greentop guidelines as safe and effective for treating hyperemesis.
One study participant told of her experience:
“I was told [Ondansetron] was the strongest drug which isn’t true and made to believe when it didn’t work that thing else could be done. I terminated my baby because of this and now spiralled into depression.”
Half of women found accessing treatment was difficult because they were often not believed when presenting to their doctor or midwife, and 25 per cent of women felt they were not treated with dignity and respect.