What is a glucose screening and how is it done?

A glucose screening is a test given to a pregnant woman between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.  The purpose of this test is to check the woman for gestational diabetes.  Gestational diabetes is a high blood sugar condition that some women get during pregnancy.

The glucose screening is a fairly simple process.  A woman is given a drink containing 50 grams of glucose.  One hour later, the physician takes a blood sample.  He then examines the blood sample to determine how efficiently your body is processing sugar.  If the test shows high levels of blood sugar, she will need to take a diagnostic test to determine whether or not she has gestational diabetes.  This separate diagnostic test is about three hours long.





There are no risks associated with a glucose screening, other than possible bruising or soreness at the site of the needle’s entry.  Also, some women have indicated that the glucose drink made them nauseous.

If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you’ll work with your physician to come up with a plan to manage your condition. Your condition will typically last only as long as your pregnancy. However, a small number of women who develop diabetes during pregnancy will continue to have the disease after delivery, so you’ll have to take another glucose test around six weeks postpartum.

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If you have a concern about your condition, please contact your doctor.

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