Health care utilisation of women who experience pregnancy-related reflux, nausea and/or vomiting

Jane E. Frawley, Helen Grace Hall, Jon Adams, David Sibbritt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Objective: Nausea, vomiting and reflux are common conditions experienced by women during pregnancy. The objective of this project was to examine women’s use of health services for these conditions.
Methods: The study sample was obtained via the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. A total of 2445 women who were pregnant or who had recently given birth in 2009 were invited to complete a sub-survey in 2010 about pregnancy and health service utilisation. A response rate of 79.2% was obtained.
Results: During their pregnancy, 604 (32.9%) respondents experienced nausea, with 255 (42.2%) of these women seeking help from a health care practitioner. A total of 201 women (11%) reported repeated vomiting, and 637 women (34.7%) reported reflux, of which 78.6% and 59.2% sought help, respectively. There were no significant differences in the mental and physical health measures between women with nausea, vomiting and/or reflux who sought
help and women who did not. Having private health insurance with obstetric cover was associated with seeking help for reflux; this was the only demographic measure significantly associated with seeking help for any condition.
Conclusion: Research is required to understand why many women do not seek professional help for common gastrointestinal conditions during pregnancy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1938-1943
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Pregnancy
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Reflux
  • Health service research

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