When you have a baby on the way, you tend to spend a good deal of quality time with your doctor. This is a good thing, of course: you want to make sure your little one is growing and developing without any problems. So when you're thinking about all the tests that are to come, you may wonder when will they test for gestational diabetes?
To get a better sense of the reasoning behind the testing timeline, it helps to understand the basics of the condition. Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women whose blood glucose levels are high, as noted by the American Diabetes Association. However, you are unlikely to develop it the same moment you receive a positive result on your pregnancy test. According to the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, gestational diabetes tends to occur later in pregnancy, because your placenta is producing a greater amount of the hormones that can mess with your insulin levels. For better or worse, discovering whether you have this condition can involve a bit of a waiting game.
For the majority of pregnant women, testing for gestational diabetes takes place in the second trimester, around weeks 24 and 28 of your pregnancy, as explained in the Mayo Clinic. If you don't have any heightened risk factors for developing the condition, this is a good time to catch it. Because gestational diabetes is a common condition affecting approximately 5 percent of pregnant women, as well as one that presents few symptoms, most women are encouraged to receive this screening, as noted in Baby Center.
However, there are cases in which women may be encouraged to get tested sooner than this point in pregnancy. If you have any of the risk factors for gestational diabetes, such as a family history of diabetes, being older than 25, or having certain hormonal disorders, then you may be encouraged to test for the condition sooner, as explained by Everyday Health. In fact, you may even be tested at your first prenatal visit, as noted in the Mayo Clinic. Whatever the case, having a more thorough understanding of your health can only help your baby in the long run, so getting tested for gestational diabetes at some point in your pregnancy is a smart move.