Morning Sickness Passes Through Your…Dad’s Genes?

Severe morning sickness genetic
Morning sickness in the genes

UCLA and USC researchers reported last week in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology that if women in your family (on either side) have had extreme morning sickness, you’re more likely to have it too.

The researchers pulled together information on women with hyperemesis¬†gravidarum (HG), a severe form of morning sickness that includes nausea and vomiting that doesn’t subside and lands many women in the emergency room, where they have to be treated with IV fluids.

It can be a serious condition for both mom and baby. Weight loss, dehydration, and malnutrition are among the concerns.

When the doctors looked a women with a history of severe morning sickness, here’s what they found:

Women who had HG were five times as likely as controls to have a sister with HG, or just serious morning sickness (but not diagnosed as HG). Thirty three percent of the women with HG had a mother with severe morning sickness, compared with only eight percent of controls.

Interestingly, for those in the study who had information on their grandparents, 18 percent of women with HG had a maternal grandmother with it too, and 23 percent had a paternal grandparent with the condition.

We always think of our maternal behaviors and tendencies being passed down to us by the women in our families — this is a good reminder that our fathers’ genes play a role too.

Image: flickr/dizznbonn

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