Diagnosing gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is generally diagnosed in the second or third trimester, often after a routine blood test at about 24–28 weeks into pregnancy, but can be diagnosed earlier, in the first trimester. If you’ve had gestational diabetes in previous pregnancies, you are likely to have diagnostic tests earlier.

Some typical symptoms of diabetes are:

  • passing urine more often
  • increased thirst
  • extreme tiredness

However, in gestational diabetes these symptoms are less common – and they often occur during pregnancy anyway.
Early diagnosis and good management of gestational diabetes increases your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby. For most women, this condition doesn’t cause obvious symptoms initially, so it’s important to attend all your healthcare check-ups, in order to undergo the routine screening.

Treating gestational diabetes

If you have gestational diabetes, you will need to measure your blood sugar frequently to monitor your levels. In many cases, changes to your diet and physical activity levels can be enough to control your blood sugar, but if not, you may need to add medication to your health regimen.
Medications include insulin injections and in a very few cases, oral diabetes tablets. Your doctor or nurse will discuss and guide you through treatment options.

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