ZocdocAnswersWhat aside from pregnancy causes morning sickness?

Question

What aside from pregnancy causes morning sickness?

Does anything cause morning sickness that's NOT pregnancy? I've been on the pill for a while, and I really don't want to be pregnant, but in the last week I've had something that definitely seems like morning sickness. I'm a 21 year old woman, by the way.

Answer

Questions about changes in one's health are always appropriate to bring up with your physician. In the case of morning nausea and/or concern about pregnancy, a primary care physician can help evaluate the situation and determine if further care from other specialists is needed. For sexually active women between the onset of menstruation and menopause, pregnancy is always an explanation for symptoms of morning nausea. Even if you are using contraception such as the pill, it is still possible to become pregnant. An over-the-counter pregnancy test or blood work in your doctor's office can help determine whether a pregnancy itself is the cause of your symptoms. However, it is also possible to have symptoms of morning nausea similar to morning sickness without being pregnant. Although the exact cause of morning sickness in a pregnant woman is not entirely certain, it is thought to be related to hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. The hormones, particularly estrogen derivatives, in most birth control pills can cause similar symptoms of morning nausea in women who are not pregnant. An evaluation with your physician is the best way to help treat these symptoms. He or she can determine whether you are pregnant. If you are not, it may also be possible to try another birth control pill that may have different or lower dose hormones that will not cause the same symptoms.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.