Mary Calvagna, MS
Your doctor should assess your risk for
at your first prenatal visit. If you already have diabetes and you become pregnant, then you do not need to be screened for gestational diabetes.
If you have risk factors for developing gestational diabetes (such as,
obesity, family history for
type 2 diabetes, or previous history of gestational diabetes), your doctor may recommend that you undergo glucose tolerance testing as soon as possible. If your initial test is negative, you will be retested between 24 and 28 weeks of gestation.
If you are at average risk, your doctor will give you a screening test between 24-28 weeks of gestation.
You may not need to be screened if you are at low risk for gestational diabetes. But, to be low risk, you must meet all of the following criteria:
For the 50 gram glucose screening test, you do not need to fast. You are given a drink that contains 50 grams of glucose. One hour later, your blood sugar level is tested.
Doctors use different screening tests and cutoff values to suspect the diagnosis. Generally, these 1 hour values range from 130 mg/dL (7.2 mmol/L) to 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L). If your blood glucose is abnormally high at 1 hour, you will need to take a 3-hour glucose tolerance test to confirm the diagnosis.
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated September 10, 2015. Accessed September 16, 2015.
Screening for gestational diabetes mellitus. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada website. Available at:
http://www.sogc.org/guidelines/public/121E-CPG-November2002.pdf. Published November 2002. Accessed September 16, 2015.
What I need to know about gestational diabetes. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC) website. Available at:
http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/gestational/#7. Updated August 2015. Accessed September 16, 2015.
5/7/2014 4/25/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Screening and diagnosis of gestational diabetes mellitus. National Guideline Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://www.guideline.gov/syntheses/synthesis.aspx?id=47907. Updated May 2014. Accessed May 7, 2014.
Last reviewed September 2015 by Andrea Chisholm, MD
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