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Screening & diagnosis for gestational diabetes

Early diagnosis and management

Gestational diabetes puts you at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

You should be tested (screened) for type 2 diabetes: 

  • six weeks to six months after giving birth (with a glucose tolerance test)
  • when you are planning another pregnancy
  • every three years (or more often depending on risk factors

It's important to know if you have type 2 diabetes when starting a family. If undiagnosed, having untreated diabetes during pregnancy can increase the risk of miscarrying or having a baby born with a malformation. Knowing if you have type 2 diabetes and learning how to manage it can also prevent or delay future complications like heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.

Early diagnosis and management is crucial for the health of you and your baby.

The glucose tolerance test

This test is used to determine your body's response to sugar (glucose). A glucose tolerance test is used to screen for type 2 diabetes and very often it is used to diagnose gestational diabetes. Generally speaking, your doctor will likely have a screening test during your second trimester - between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.

  • Be sure to ask your health care providers who will arrange your test and who will share the results with you.

  • Fast for eight hours before the test. After the lab takes a blood sample, you will be given a sugary drink. Two hours later, you will have another blood test.

NOTE: If your results are abnormal, arrange to discuss this further with your health care provider. If your results are normal you will need to be tested before planning another pregnancy or every 3 years or more often depending on risk factors.

Screening for gestational diabetes

Here are some links to support you as you navigate screening and diagnosis of gestational diabetes.

Gestational fact sheet

For additional information about gestational diabetes, the risks, early diagnosis and management.

Healthy living resources

Learn the essentials on how to live with and manage your gestational diabetes. As always, consult with your doctor and your diabetes care team to find solutions that work for you.

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