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Screening for Gestational Diabetes

Screening for Gestational Diabetes

Topic Overview

Early detection

Experts debate whether all pregnant women need to be tested for gestational diabetes.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has found insufficient evidence to recommend screening women with no risk factors for gestational diabetes.1

But the American Diabetes Association recommends that doctors screen women:2

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. Up to 60 out of 100 women who develop gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes later in life.3

You may also have a follow-up glucose tolerance test 6 to 12 weeks after your baby is born or after you stop breast-feeding 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 diabetes before you become pregnant and also early in your pregnancy.

For more information, see the topic Gestational Diabetes.

References

Citations

  1. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2008). Screening for gestational diabetes mellitus. Available online: http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspsgdm.htm.
  2. American Diabetes Association (2012). Diagnosis and classification of diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Care, 35(Suppl 1): S64–S71.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2011). National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 2011. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available online: http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/pdf/ndfs_2011.pdf.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Lois Jovanovic, MD - Endocrinology
Last Revised November 14, 2013

Last Revised: November 14, 2013

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