Also known as the blood glucose test or glucose test, it is performed in pregnancy to check for gestational diabetes. Find out what it is, what it consists of, what it is for and what its normal values are.
Although medically its original name is O’Sullivan’s Test, it is popularly known to many pregnant women and moms as the pregnancy sugar test. Indeed, it is a diagnostic test that is carried out in pregnancy, with the aim of diagnosing whether or not the pregnant woman suffers from gestational diabetes.
It is a useful diagnostic test to discover if the future mother has high blood glucose levels, which -if positive- allows the gynecologist and / or midwife to recommend following a suitable diet to prevent the levels from continuing to be high. Although among the professionals themselves there is controversy as to whether or not the presence of diabetes in pregnancy negatively affects the baby.
When is the sugar test done in pregnancy? What week?
In Spain, this test is carried out routinely in all pregnant women who are between 24 and 28 weeks of gestation. However, in some Autonomous Communities it is common for the test to be performed twice, the first time in the first trimester of pregnancy.
How is the sugar test done?
The so-called sugar test in pregnancy is very simple to perform. This is divided into the following steps:
- First, a blood draw is performed, and the blood glucose level is measured.
- Next, the pregnant woman must ingest a liquid that contains 50 grams of sugar dissolved in water.
- An hour later blood is drawn again, to measure blood glucose again.
Previously it was recommended that the pregnant woman maintain between 8 to 10 hours of previous fasting before carrying out the test, but as many specialists say, today the truth is that the test can be performed at any time of the day. However, even many hospitals and health centers continue to make this recommendation.
Normal Sugar Test Values
In the two extractions, the glucose in blood must be below 140 mg/dl; if so, these levels are considered normal and there would be no doubt that the future mother may suffer from an intolerance to carbohydrates or gestational diabetes:
- If blood glucose levels are equal to or greater than 140 mg / dl: a possible carbohydrate intolerance is suspected.
- If the levels are equal to or exceed 200 mg / dl: gestational diabetes is diagnosed.
Precisely if the levels are equal to or greater than 200 mg / dl, it is necessary to repeat the test to confirm it. However, if the levels have equaled or exceeded 140 mg/dl but have not reached 200 mg / dl, the so-called glycemic curve or oral glucose tolerance test should be performed, which consists of monitoring the values of glycemia after an oral overload of 100 gr. glucose, taking four measurements at one-hour intervals.
If there is again a value that exceeds the limits, the test must be repeated in three weeks, and if it again exceeds the limit, glucose intolerance is diagnosed. When two values appear that exceed the limits, the presence of gestational diabetes is diagnosed.