A silver lining to morning sickness? Experiencing first trimester nausea may be an important clue that your pregnancy is healthy, according to research that found women who end up plagued with morning sickness also less likely to experience a miscarriage.
Published online September 22, 2010, in the journal Human Reproduction, the study of 2,400 women showed that as many as 90 percent of women had some degree of morning sickness in early pregnancy and that 11 percent of the women miscarried before 20 weeks. Comparing degree of morning sickness with the chance for miscarriage, women who had no nausea or vomiting during their first trimester were 3.2 times as likely to miscarry as women who did have morning sickness.
As a Reuters Health report on the study points out, this relationship was particularly strong for older women—women younger than 25 who had no morning sickness were four times as likely to miscarry compared to their peers who had nausea and vomiting, while miscarriage risk was increased nearly 12-fold for women 35 and older with no morning sickness.
Seem like you’ve had morning sickness forever? That may also be a good sign. According to the study, the longer a woman had symptoms of nausea, the lower her miscarriage risk. And again, this association was especially strong among older women. Women 35 and older who had morning sickness for at least half of their pregnancy were 80 percent less likely to miscarry than women in this age group who didn't have these symptoms.
Researchers still are not sure why there is a link, but it could be that nausea in early pregnancy is caused by sensitivity to a sharp rise in certain hormones key for sustaining pregnancy.