Gestational diabetes does not usually cause any symptoms. Most cases are only discovered when your blood sugar levels are tested during screening for gestational diabetes. Your midwife will talk to you about the risk factors for gestational diabetes at your booking appointment. They will organise a screening test if they think you’re at risk.
"I wasn’t obviously skinny, but I wasn’t massively obese either… I had no symptoms whatsoever. I had no expectation that the test would be anything other than a formality."
Some women may develop symptoms if their blood glucose levels get high. These include:
- going to the toilet a lot, especially at night
- being really thirsty
- feeling more tired than usual
- losing weight without trying to
- general itching or thrush.
Some of these symptoms are common during pregnancy so may not be a sign of gestational diabetes. But it is best to find out as soon as possible. Tell your midwife or GP if you have any concerns.
Try to remember that if you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, careful management can reduce the risk of any complications.
We do not understand exactly why some women get gestational diabetes and others don't. But we do know that some factors increase the risk.
If you have had gestational diabetes, you can help to reduce your risk of future health issues by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising and eating a balanced diet.
Gestational diabetes is treated by making changes to diet and exercise to manage glucose levels. If this doesn’t work, you may be given medication.
Gestational diabetes can cause problems in pregnancy, but these risks can be reduced with careful management.
If you are at risk of developing gestational diabetes, you’ll usually be offered an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy. With careful management, most women will have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.
NHS Choices. Gestational Diabetes https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gestational-diabetes/ (Page last reviewed: 06/08/2019. Next review due: 06/08/2022)
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (2013) Gestational Diabetes. https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/patients/patient-information-leaflets/pregnancy/pi-gestational-diabetes.pdfHide details
ℹLast reviewed on July 23rd, 2020. Next review date July 23rd, 2023.