Topic Overview

Early detection

Experts debate whether all pregnant women need to be tested for gestational diabetes. But most doctors routinely test all pregnant women who are in their care. The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends that doctors screen women:footnote 2

  • Any time during pregnancy if they are at risk for having type 2 diabetes. Women who are tested before the 24th week of pregnancy should be tested again between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy.

After delivery

Even though your gestational diabetes will probably go away after your baby is born, you are at risk for gestational diabetes again and for type 2 diabetes later in life. Up to 30 out of 100 women who develop gestational diabetes will develop diabetes within 15 years.footnote 1

You will have a follow-up glucose tolerance test 6 weeks to 6 months after your baby is born.footnote 2 If the results of this test are normal, you will still need to be tested for type 2 diabetes at least every 3 years. If that test shows that your blood sugar is slightly high, you may have a condition called prediabetes. If you have prediabetes, you can help prevent type 2 diabetes by changing the way you eat, exercising regularly, and being tested for diabetes every year. For more information, see the topic Prediabetes.

If you want to get pregnant again, you should be tested for type 2 diabetes before you become pregnant.

For more information, see the topic Gestational Diabetes.



  1. Canadian Diabetes Association (2011). Testing for type 2 diabetes after gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Available online:
  2. Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guidelines Expert Committee (2013). Diabetes and pregnancy section of Canadian Diabetes Association 2013 clinical practice guidelines for the prevention and management of diabetes in Canada. Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 37(Suppl 1): S168–S183. Also available online:


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Thomas M. Bailey, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Lois Jovanovic, MD - Endocrinology

Current as ofMay 22, 2015