20 October 2021
The largest ever survey of women suffering severe pregnancy sickness (Hyperemesis Gravidarum), published today in the journal Obstetric Medicine, has found that more than half of women considered termination (52.1%), and nearly 5% ended a pregnancy as a result of the condition. Over a quarter (25.5%) of the more than 5,000 women surveyed considered suicide, and nearly 7% regularly so.
Dr Caitlin Dean, Chairperson of Pregnancy Sickness Support said:
“This study demonstrates the scale of the problem with HG care in the UK. Too many women are receiving poor care and losing their much-wanted babies. We need greater awareness of the available treatments and more compassion in the way care is provided”
Clare Murphy, Chief Executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, BPAS, said:
“No woman should have to end a wanted pregnancy because she has been unable to access the care she needs. This is an important study which must raise awareness of the devastating consequences of severe pregnancy sickness which women are often expected just to put up with.
“We must move away from the mantra that ‘nothing is safe in pregnancy’ because not treating pregnant women is also harmful. Safe, effective medications are available, and women must be offered them.”
The study was developed as a collaboration between the BBC, Pregnancy Sickness Support, and researchers at Kings College, and is published online here.
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BPAS is a charity that sees over 100,000 women a year for reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception at clinics across Great Britain. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice. BPAS also runs the Centre for Reproductive Research and Communication, which seeks to develop and deliver a research agenda that furthers women’s access to evidence-based reproductive healthcare, driven by an understanding of women’s perspectives and needs. You can find out more here: www.bpas.org/get-involved/centre-for-reproductive-research-communication/
Later in 2021, BPAS will launch England’s first not-for-profit fertility service, to provide ethical, evidence-based, person-centred care that supports patients. We will provide a safe, high-quality, and accessible service, without profiteering from patients. Our service will give those ineligible for NHS funding an affordable option to access the care they need.