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Gestational diabetes or gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), according to the criteria of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA), is defined as glucose intolerance diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy.
The prevalence of GDM is highly variable depending on the population studied and also depending on the screening threshold used.
However, it is a common condition: in European populations, the prevalence of GDM is around 3 to 6% of all pregnancies.
GDM appears in the second quarter and is accentuated in the third quarter.
In the short term, GDM is associated with a set of fetal-maternal complications, the most clinically significant of which are those associated with higher fetal weight.
In the long term, women with GDM are at risk of developing diabetes in later life.
Detecting and treating GDM reduces immediate fetal-maternal complications and long-term monitoring of patients with a history of GDM could allow early prevention of diabetes and its complications.
Screening and diagnosis
It is recommended to perform early screening during the first trimester of pregnancy, especially if you have risk factors such as a family history or being overweight, etc., to screen for unknown pre-gestational diabetes via a fasting blood sugar test.
At HUG, we recommend screening for GDM universally between the 24th and 28th week of gestation using an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT 75 g of glucose over 2 hours).
The performance of the OGTT involves taking a blood sample at fasting then at 1 hour, 2 hours and 3 hours after ingestion of the glucose; this examination lasts two hours in the office or laboratory.