Symptoms of gestational diabetes

Women with gestational diabetes often do not have any symptoms at all, and this is why women are all monitored for it by routine checks in pregnancy.

The lack of obvious symptoms is confusing and can make some women doubt that they have it. This is also why every woman is questioned on possible risk factors for gestational diabetes during the booking appointment. If you have some of the risk factors you will then be tested to check whether you have it.

If you do get symptoms, they may include those listed below – although these could also mean you may have type 2 diabetes:

  • being very thirsty
  • having a dry mouth
  • needing to wee a lot
  • being tired
  • repeated infections, such as thrush
  • blurred vision.

"I wasn’t obviously skinny, but I wasn’t massively obese either… I had no symptoms whatsoever. I had no expectation that the Lucozade test would be anything other than a formality."Beth, mum of two

If you have these symptoms during your pregnancy, tell your midwife or GP. If they are caused by gestational diabetes, you need to find out as quickly as possible, so you and your healthcare team can take action to reduce the risks for you and your baby.

Find out more about the tests that you can have to tell whether you have gestational diabetes.

Read more

  • Pregnant woman in third trimester having blood glucose levels checked.

    Causes of gestational diabetes

    Clinicians and researchers do not understand yet exactly why some women get gestational diabetes and others don't, but we know that there are some life and family factors that make it more likely in some women.

  • Happy mum and healthy baby.

    Longer term implications of gestational diabetes

    If you have had gestational diabetes in pregnancy you will be at higher risk of having it again in a next pregnancy and of getting type 2 diabetes in later life.

  • Happy pregnant woman in hospital bed.

    Gestational diabetes and giving birth

    Today, for women with gestational diabetes, the emphasis is on trying to keep the birth as normal as possible unless there is a particular reason to do things differently.

  • Pregnant woman carrying yoga mat and water bottle.

    Treatment for gestational diabetes

    Gestational diabetes is treated by making changes to diet and exercise to manage blood sugar levels, and using medication if necessary.

  • Nurse showing woman test results.

    What are the risks of gestational diabetes?

    If you have gestational diabetes, you will have been told that gestational diabetes holds risks to the mother and baby, but women tell us they are not always clear exactly what those risks are.

  • Woman at appointment with health professional.

    Testing for gestational diabetes

    Gestational diabetes is one of the conditions that midwives will be looking out for during your normal appointment schedule. If you have it, it will be spotted through tests.


  1. NHS Choices [accessed August 2014] Gestational diabetes - symptoms. 




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Last reviewed on March 1st, 2015. Next review date March 1st, 2018.

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