How Early Can You Have Morning Sickness?

Many women want to know “How early can you have morning sickness?”  The real answer is, “It depends.”

Morning sickness affects around 90% of women to some degree. However, for most, the term “morning sickness” is not an accurate description of what they experience.

While it is common to feel sick upon waking in the morning during the first 3 – 4 months of pregnancy, it’s also common to feel sick in the afternoon, evening, in the middle of the night, and any other time of day – not just the morning.

What Causes Morning Sickness?

Doctors and midwives aren’t absolutely sure what causes morning sickness. Some believe morning sickness is nutrition-based and that many of the symptoms can be eased by optimal nutrition. Others believe it’s related in some way to the pregnancy hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG).

Your body produces the highest amounts of hCG during the first weeks of pregnancy. Then hCG production levels off around the 4th month. This is generally the cycle of morning sickness for most women, too.

In addition, low levels of hCG are common among pregnancies that end in miscarriage. Many of these women also report feeling little if any morning sickness.

HG vs Morning Sickness

If you’re pregnant and experiencing near constant vomiting resulting in weight loss of 1-2 lbs a week or more, you may have something other than just morning sickness.

Hypermesis Gravidarum, or HG, causes near constant nausea and vomiting to the point it affects the quality of your daily life. It can also cause multiple problems for you and your unborn baby due to poor nutrition, dehydration, and more.

If you are experiencing HG symptoms it’s important that you seek support from a medical professional experienced in treating women with HG as early as possible in your pregnancy. The longer HG continues the greater the chances are that lasting issues will result for you and/or your baby.

How Early Can You Have Morning Sickness?

Regardless of intensity, on average morning sickness (or HG) starts for the majority of pregnant women around the 6th week of pregnancy and ends around the 14th week. Some women have reported morning sickness beginning around week 4.

A few women say morning sickness started for them as early as the first week of pregnancy. They wondered what the cause was at first, and then confirmed it was more than the flu after a positive pregnancy test.

A blood test can confirm the cause of your nausea and vomiting once enough hCG has built up in your bloodstream – as early as 6 days after conception.  A store bought urine pregnancy test can provide accurate results after a missed period.

All this means is, like so many other characteristics of pregnancy, there is no definitive timeline for the onset of morning sickness. Each mother / baby pair is different.  Even the same mothers have reported awful morning sickness during one pregnancy while only minor symptoms, or nothing at all, with another.

If you’re experiencing nausea and vomiting, and are unsure of the cause, consult your physician and be sure they run a pregnancy test.  It could be a stomach virus, something you ate, or it could be a baby on the way!


HER Foundation

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