Glucose test during pregnancy | Neeva Baby

Diabetes screening is done between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. A pregnancy glucose test, also called a glucose challenge test, or glucose tolerance test will be prescribed to screen for gestational diabetes. In this article, you can learn about the reasons and how to do glucose test during pregnancy, how to analyze the results, and how you would feel after a diabetes screening test.


Why you should give a Pregnancy Glucose Test?

Insulin resistance increases during pregnancy, and gestational diabetes occurs when a pregnant woman's blood sugar level rises during her pregnancy without a history of diabetes. Gestational diabetes increases the risk of developing gestational poisoning or preeclampsia, depression and the need for C-section.

Babies born to mothers with diabetes are also at higher risk for macrosomia or overgrowth, postpartum hypoglycemia, and jaundice. Gestational diabetes can cause intrauterine death if left untreated. Because gestational diabetes rarely causes symptoms, the only way to diagnose it is to get a glucose test during pregnancy.

The glucose tolerance test pregnancy, like any other screening test such as a blood test, does not lead to a diagnosis, but is designed to identify as many women as possible who may need further testing because of the problems, so a positive result does not mean that a person has gestational diabetes.

If your screening test is positive, you will need to have an oral glucose tolerance test, or O-GTT, which is a longer, more definitive test that can tell for sure if you have gestational diabetes. If your routine urine test shows some excess sugar or is at high risk for diabetes, your doctor may ask you to get screened before the 24th week of pregnancy.

If the test results are normal, the screening will be repeated at 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy. Of course, there is no need for screening if you are diagnosed with diabetes before pregnancy. Instead, try to control this condition during pregnancy with the help of your doctor.


How is the Glucose Challenge Test Performed?

When visiting for the test, a person is given a glucose solution containing 50 grams of glucose dissolved in 250 to 300 ml of water. This solution tastes like a very sweet drink and you should drink it in five minutes.

An hour later, a blood sample is taken to check your blood sugar level. This test determines how your body processes sugar efficiently. The test result should be ready in a few days.

This test can be performed on an empty stomach at any time of the day, regardless of the last meal. During the test, you should be seated and refrain from strenuous physical activity, drinking tea or coffee, and eating food.

In case of complications such as nausea, you should lay down. If you vomit, the results are no longer reliable and the test should not be continued. If the measured amount of sugar is less than 140 mg/dl, there is no problem; but if it is higher than this amount, the second stage of the test is performed, which is the glucose tolerance test pregnancy.


How is a Glucose Tolerance Test Performed?

In a glucose tolerance test, you should fast for at least eight hours. You are usually asked to eat dinner late at night before the test and then may be told to refrain from eating or drinking anything but a small amount of water. So, it is best to do the test in the next morning. On the day of the test, a blood sample is taken to measure fasting blood sugar and then a solution containing 100 grams of oral glucose is given to the pregnant woman.

During this time, three blood samples are taken from the arm every hour for three hours to test the blood. Since this test lasts for three hours, you will definitely need something to warm your head with, because you will have to sit in the waiting room when preparing a blood sample. Also have a snack with you, as you will probably be hungry after giving the last sample.

After the test results are announced, if at least two of the measured values ​​are higher than the standard value, your doctor will make a definitive diagnosis of gestational diabetes and take the necessary steps for you. Note that in some cases, doctors may order a two-hour glucose tolerance test instead of a glucose challenge test.

This test is similar to a three-hour glucose tolerance test, except that the oral glucose solution contains 75 grams of glucose and the samples are taken in two hours. This type of glucose screening test is done in one step and the result is definite.


Feeling Sick after doing Glucose Test Pregnancy

Some pregnant women experience nausea and sometimes even vomiting after drinking glucose solution. If you have a glucose challenge test, eating something a few hours before the screening test may help. If you feel nauseous shortly after drinking the solution, you should go back and repeat the test another day.

Nausea is more common during a three-hour glucose tolerance test pregnancy, because the solution used for this test can be twice as sweet as the solution used in the screening test, and you should drink it on an empty stomach.


Pregnancy Glucose Test Results Analysis 

Doctors use different standards to determine if your blood sugar level is high or low. In the glucose challenge test, if your blood glucose level is more than 140 mg dl after the test, the result is positive and a definitive diagnostic test for glucose tolerance will be needed.

In a three-hour glucose tolerance test, your doctor will make a definitive diagnosis of gestational diabetes if at least two of the measurements at different test hours are greater than the standard values. The standard values ​​for blood sugar in a three-hour glucose tolerance test are as follows:


Standard Measurement

Fasting blood sugar

less than 95 mg/dl

One hour blood sugar

less than 180 mg/dl

Two-hour blood sugar

less than 155 mg/dl

Three-hour blood sugar

less than 140 mg/dl


In a one-step method or a two-hour glucose tolerance test pregnancy, these values ​​are as follows:


Standard Measurement

Fasting blood sugar

less than 92 mg/dl

Blood sugar

less than 180 mg/dl

Two-hour blood sugar

less than 153 mg/dl



If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, obstetricians and gynecologists will probably ask you to monitor your health by following a proper diet. Gestational diabetes usually lasts as long as you are pregnant, but some women who develop diabetes during pregnancy will also develop the condition after giving birth. Therefore, glucose test for pregnancy is also necessary six to eight weeks after delivery.

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