This is a screening test for gestational diabetes, a blood test done between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. The mother is given a sugar drink (Kolodex or Glucola are the name brands) and blood is taken one hour later. If the test is normal and you don’t have other risk factors then no further testing is usually needed. If the screening test is abnormal, then a more prolonged test is needed to rule out gestational diabetes.
Why it’s important: Like any screening test, this one won’t give you a diagnosis mdash it’s designed to identify as many women as possible who may have a problem and need more testing to find out. So a positive result doesn’t mean that you have gestational diabetes. In fact, only about a third of women who test positive on the glucose screen actually have the condition. To find out if you’re one of them, you’ll have to undergo a longer, more definitive exam called a glucose tolerance test (GTT).
Between 2 and 5 percent of expectant mothers develop gestational diabetes, making it one of the most common health problems during pregnancy. And because the condition rarely causes any symptoms, testing is the only way to find out if you have it. For more information, see Diabetes in Pregnancy.
Your practitioner may want you to be screened earlier than 24 weeks if a routine urine test shows a high amount of sugar in the urine or if you’re considered at high risk. If the results are normal, you’ll be screened again at 24 to 28 weeks.