Screening for Gestational Diabetes
All women are monitored for gestational diabetes with a routine blood sugar screening at 24 to 28 weeks.
Since PCOS can result in higher blood sugar due to insulin resistance, women with the condition are often screened for gestational diabetes earlier in the pregnancy.
There are two different ways to screen for gestational diabetes – the glucose challenge test and glucose tolerance testing. Both methods require that you drink a sugary solution, though the amount differs depending on which test the doctor is using.
The glucose challenge test requires only a single blood draw at one hour after you drink the solution. You do not need to fast before this test. However, this test alone is not sufficient to diagnose gestational diabetes. If the test is abnormal, you’ll need to have the glucose tolerance testing.
During the glucose tolerance test, you’ll again drink the sugary solution (though you’ll need to drink more of it), with four blood draws: one before drinking the solution, and at one, two and three hours after finishing it. You will need to fast before taking this test.
If any of the tests show an elevated blood glucose level, you will be diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Some doctors will skip the glucose challenge test and use only the glucose tolerance testing.
Lifestyle Modifications and Treatment
Gestational diabetes can be treated with a combination of lifestyle changes (in mild blood sugar abnormalities) or medication. Your doctor will probably have you measure your blood sugar periodically through the day; once in the morning when you wake up and after each meal is typical, though you’ll want to follow your doctor’s instructions.