One of the first anxieties of pregnancy is morning sickness – when does it start, and how long does it last? Although it would be nice if there was a definitive answer, the beginning and end of morning sickness depends on the individual. That said, there are some general patterns. Let’s look at how soon early morning sickness can start, when it peaks, and – thankfully! – when it usually ends.
When does morning sickness start? How early can it be?
For some women, morning sickness can start as soon as Week 4. That said, “Week 4” might be a bit too a vague description to go by. Four weeks since when, exactly? Four weeks since “Day Zero, Week Zero” of pregnancy – which the World Health Organization measures as the first day of your last menstrual period. That makes 28 days all up, so if you have a regular cycle, this is when your next period would normally begin.
Most pregnancy tests allow you to check one week after the day of your missed period, but some women might already be starting to feel the symptoms of morning sickness like nausea and vomiting at this time, and suspect they might be pregnant.
To make things a little more concrete, let’s think about counting from the date when you had sex. Since ovulation occurs about 2 weeks before the expected day of your period, it’s possible for the morning sickness to occur as early as 14 days since you had intercourse.
Other very early pregnancy symptoms can also manifest during this time before your next period would ordinarily be due. Until you can use a pregnancy test, you might want to keep your eyes peeled for other signs that you may be pregnant.
When is the worst of morning sickness over?
Morning sickness usually hits hardest around weeks 8 to 11 of pregnancy. Though some mothers continue to experience morning sickness right up until the end of pregnancy, it’s very unusual for the symptoms to be as bad as this peak period again.
Morning sickness symptoms and their severity vary from person to person, and the triggers for nausea and vomiting aren’t just limited to odors. Brushing your teeth, or even the taste of your own saliva might be enough to make you feel sick! But, little by little, this should settle back down. Hang in there – the worst will be over soon!
When does morning sickness end? How soon can it be?
The symptoms of morning sickness usually begin to ease from week 12 to 16 of pregnancy, around the beginning of the second trimester. Many moms feel better by Week 15, which is thought to be due to declining levels of hCG hormones as the placenta finishes its development. At this point, the odds of miscarriage also decline sharply.
Morning sickness doesn’t stop until the birth?
Most women are able to settle into a calmer maternity lifestyle by the second trimester, but some mothers still experience morning sickness well into Month 6 and beyond.
A small proportion of pregnant mothers (less than 10%) find that their morning sickness continues right up until birth. Some of these women might not have even had morning sickness in the early stages of pregnancy, but then spontaneously developed the symptoms later on. In the later stages of pregnancy, this can be caused by the pressure of the baby in the uterus against the stomach, causing the mother to feel sick.
Can you be pregnant with no morning sickness?
Yes, it’s possible. According to post-birth surveys, while one mommy might have had terrible morning sickness, another might not have felt any worse for wear. Some mothers may experience severe morning sickness with one child, but none at all for another. When it comes to morning sickness, each pregnancy experience is different.
Is morning sickness all down to hormones?
We still don’t know the exact cause of morning sickness, and there are a number of different theories. According to one popular explanation, morning sickness is related to a change in hormone balance. Specifically, during pregnancy, the tiny hair-like protrusions in the uterus called villi release spiking levels of the hormones hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) and progesterone.
It’s thought that the severity of morning sickness symptoms may be related to the amounts of these hormones secreted. However, since there are also pregnancies with no morning sickness, there’s likely to be more than just hormonal factors at play.
Morning sickness doesn’t last forever
There’s not much you can do about the hormonal and physical changes that go along with pregnancy, and that includes morning sickness. Without knowing exactly when it’s going to end, it can be stressful worrying about how long the symptoms will leave you feeling sick.
But remember: no matter how long your morning sickness lasts, you’re going to feel a lot better after the birth. So for the sake of your cute little baby-to-be, do your best to ride it out!