NHS Failing to treat severe morning sickness
A new report has found that some pregnancy women with severe morning sickness are being refused help from the NHS and are having abortions as a result.
Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) leaves women with debilitating levels of nausea and vomiting.
HG affects about 15,000 women each year, but research suggests that half do not find it easy to access treatment.
The research conducted by the midwifery journal Midirs, spoke to 394 women who have suffered from HG. Only 34 per cent of them felt that they have been given accurate information to make the right decisions about medication and treatment.
Eleven of the women interviewed said they had abortions because they couldn’t cope with the HG and were given no treatment or medication.
Many women were given false information about the risks of the drugs that could help. One patient said a nurse told her that the drug ondansetron “would give me a deformed baby and I would regret it”.
One woman said that she had been told, incorrectly, that when ondansetron did not work nothing could be done. “[I] terminated my baby because of this and spiralled into depression,” she told the report.
Meg Edwards, 23, suffered from severe HG: “I asked my husband on three separate occasions [to arrange an abortion]. I said, ‘I can’t do this any more, you need to stop this, it has to stop’. It felt like it was me or her, but we weren’t both going to make it."
Before she was diagnosed with HG, she was told by hospital staff that the sickness was part of being pregnant. Her daughter is now nine months old.
Last year the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have warned that the thalidomide scandal should not deter GPs from prescribing drugs to help with sickness during pregnancy.
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