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Screening for Gestational Diabetes

Topic Overview

Early detection

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and American Diabetes Association recommend that all women who are not already diagnosed with diabetes be screened for gestational diabetes after the 24th week of pregnancy.footnote 1, footnote 2 Most women are screened for gestational diabetes 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 may also have a follow-up glucose tolerance test 4 to 12 weeks after your baby is born or after you stop breastfeeding your baby. 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. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2014). Screening for gestational diabetes mellitus. http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspsgdm.htm. Accessed January 16, 2014.
  2. American Diabetes Association (2019). Standards of medical care in diabetes—2019. Diabetes Care, 42(Suppl 1): S1–S193. Accessed December 17, 2018.

Other Works Consulted

  • American Diabetes Association (2017). Standards of medical care in diabetes—2017. Diabetes Care, 40(Suppl 1): S1–S135.

Credits

Current as ofApril 16, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Rebecca Sue Uranga
Femi Olatunbosun MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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