Glucose Testing During Pregnancy

If you recently discovered you are pregnant for the first time, you might be excited and nervous. Going through a pregnancy requires visiting an obstetrician, such as Darin L Weyhrich, regularly, and you may be required to go through a variety of different tests. One of the tests your doctor will request is a glucose screening. Since this is your first pregnancy, you may wonder what this is and why it is done.

What Is a Glucose Screening?

A glucose screening is a test completed to determine if you have gestational diabetes. While this condition only occurs in approximately 4% of pregnancies, it is a serious condition that requires treatment.

A glucose screening tests a woman's blood-sugar levels to determine if she has gestational diabetes. Diabetes is something that can affect the fetus by causing the baby to grow larger than normal, or by causing complications during delivery.

How Is It Done?

Your obstetrician will keep you informed of when you should complete this test, as well as when you will need to have other tests completed. Most obstetricians recommend a glucose screening at a certain time during the pregnancy, which is usually when a woman is 24 to 28 weeks pregnant.

You may need to go to the hospital or an outpatient treatment center to have this test completed. When you arrive, you will have to drink a beverage that contains glucose. The beverage tastes like sweet, flat pop, and you must drink it all within five minutes.

You must be prepared to wait after you consume this, because a nurse will draw blood from your body an hour after you consume the drink.

What Happens After That?

If your blood sugar level comes back normal, you will not have to worry about taking any additional steps for this. On the other hand, you may have to go through additional testing if the reading comes back too high.

Generally, a high reading will simply require another test. You will have to come back to the hospital after fasting overnight. A nurse will again draw blood and may have you drink the glucose beverage again. Most women pass the second test and need nothing else afterwards, but there is a chance that you may really have gestational diabetes.

If so, your doctor may ask you to change your diet, and you may also need to take insulin shots for the remainder of your pregnancy.

This is not something you should worry about, but it is something you should do when your obstetrician recommends it. There are a lot of things you will need to do during your pregnancy, but just remember that each of these is completed to keep you and the baby safe and healthy.