Gestational Diabetes Testing

During your prenatal visit, a test for gestational diabetes will often be performed. While women at high risk for gestational diabetes may be tested at their first prenatal visit, women at average or low risk may be tested later in the pregnancy. The process involves fasting blood glucose tests, random blood glucose tests, screening glucose challenge tests, and oral glucose tolerance tests.

Gestational Diabetes Testing: An Overview

Tests for gestational diabetes are routinely done during prenatal doctor visits. Your doctor will decide when you need to be checked for the condition, depending on your risk factors.
For example, if you are at high risk, your blood glucose level may be checked at your first prenatal visit. If your gestational diabetes testing results are normal, you will be checked again some time between weeks 24 and 28 of your pregnancy.
If you have an average risk, you will be tested sometime between weeks 24 and 28 of pregnancy.
If you are at low risk for gestational diabetes, your doctor may decide that you do not need testing at all.
If testing for gestational diabetes is recommended, your healthcare team will check your blood glucose level. Depending on your risk and your test results, you may have one or more of the following tests:
  • Fasting blood glucose or random blood glucose test
  • Screening glucose challenge test
  • Oral glucose tolerance test.

Fasting Blood Glucose or Random Blood Glucose Test for Gestational Diabetes

Your doctor may check your blood glucose level using a fasting blood glucose test. Before this test, your doctor will ask you to fast, which means having nothing to eat or drink except water for at least eight hours. Or your doctor may check your blood glucose at any time during the day. This is called a random blood glucose test.
This gestational diabetes testing method can detect the condition in some women, but other tests are needed to be sure nothing is missed.
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