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Screening for Gestational Diabetes

Topic Overview

Early detection

Experts debate whether all pregnant women need to be tested for gestational diabetes. But most doctors routinely test all pregnant women who are in their care. Diabetes Canada recommends that doctors screen women:footnote 1

  • Any time during pregnancy if they are at risk for having type 2 diabetes. Women who are tested before the 24th week of pregnancy should be tested again between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy.

After delivery

Even though your gestational diabetes will probably go away after your baby is born, you are at risk for gestational diabetes again and for type 2 diabetes later in life.

You will have a follow-up glucose tolerance test 6 weeks to 6 months after your baby is born.footnote 1 If the results of this test are normal, you will still need to be tested for type 2 diabetes at least every 3 years. If that test shows that your blood sugar is slightly high, you may have a condition called prediabetes. If you have prediabetes, you can help prevent type 2 diabetes by changing the way you eat, exercising regularly, and being tested for diabetes every year. For more information, see the topic Prediabetes.

If you want to get pregnant again, you should be tested for type 2 diabetes before you become pregnant.

For more information, see the topic Gestational Diabetes.

References

Citations

  1. Diabetes Canada Clinical Practice Guidelines Expert Committee, et al. (2018). Diabetes and pregnancy. Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 42(Suppl 1): S255–S282. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcjd.2017.10.038. Accessed October 15, 2018. [Erratum in Canadian Journal of Diabetes 42(3): 337. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcjd.2018.04.006.] Accessed October 12, 2018.

Credits

Current as ofJuly 25, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Thomas M. Bailey MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Lois Jovanovic MD - Endocrinology

Femi Olatunbosun MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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