Glucose Screening During Pregnancy

glucose screening pregnancy


Glucose Screening in Pregnancy

During pregnancy women usually have glucose screening. An oral glucose tolerance test is usually based on the medical history and risk factors, and carried out in a laboratory setting.

What is an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test?

An oral glucose tolerance test is used to diagnose gestational diabetes, which some women develop in the later stages of their pregnancy (usually after the week 24).

When is an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test is Recommended?

It’s usually performed between the week 24 and 28, though it can be done before the 13th week if a woman has had gestational diabetes before, or if her doctor believes that she is in a high-risk group.

How is an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test Performed?

The woman drinks a sweet drink, which contains 50 g. of glucose. The woman’s body absorbs glucose, quickly raising its level in the blood within 30-60 minutes. The doctor takes a blood test after an hour. The test results show how the body processes glucose.

How to Read the Test Results?

A blood glucose level that equals 140 milligrams per decilitre of blood means that in 80 % of cases a woman would have gestational diabetes. If the blood glucose level is 130 mg/dl, then the risk of diabetes is higher (90 %). If the blood glucose level equals 130 mg/dl, the doctor will recommend another glucose screening that will require prior fasting. During this screening the blood glucose level will be tested 4 times during 3 hours after drinking the sweet drink. Gestational diabetes is diagnosed if 2 out of 4 screening results show an abnormal blood glucose levels.

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