While it’s one of the least invasive routine procedures during pregnancy, the glucose screening test tends to also be one of the most dreaded. Women who have given birth before often describe it in less than glowing terms, and women who are carrying their first child have usually heard friends or family members do just that before their own tests.
While the experience can be a mildly unpleasant one, it’s a very important test that helps your obstetrician gather crucial information about your pregnancy. Find out why your glucose screening results matter, and why you shouldn’t skip this vital screening.
Why Do People Avoid the Glucose Screening Test?
The first part of a glucose screening test is drinking a very sweet drink in a short amount of time, a task many pregnant women can find unpleasant due to pregnancy-related food aversions and nausea. One hour after drinking this liquid, blood is drawn for testing to determine how well your body processed the glucose solution. For many women, this is the end of the glucose testing experience. A higher-than-normal blood glucose reading one hour after drinking the solution means you’ll need to have a second, longer version of the test with more blood drawn for testing. This is to determine whether you have gestational diabetes, which occurs in up to 10% of pregnancies during the second or third trimester.
What is Gestational Diabetes?
Carrying a baby and providing it with all necessary nutrients is hard work, and sometimes it can put an extra strain on your body. Gestational diabetes is a sign your pancreas is struggling to produce enough insulin to regulate your blood sugar levels appropriately. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can increase your risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy and your risk of cesarean section. For your baby, the risk of being very large for gestational age is increased, along with their risk of breathing trouble at birth. Later in life, your baby has a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
With treatment, however, managing gestational diabetes and staying healthy throughout your pregnancy is absolutely possible. If you have questions about gestational diabetes, call us today to set up an appointment at Marietta OB/GYN.