Gestational diabetes mellitus is just like other types of diabetes but occurs during gestation, more commonly known as pregnancy. It affects the use of sugar by the cells in the body. It can the blood sugar levels to rise significantly and affect the female sexual health of the women’s pregnancy and their babies. It is really necessary to monitor the sugar levels and keep it in control in order to avoid any difficulties during the delivery.
The blood sugar levels mostly return to normal levels after the delivery in women with gestational diabetes. But having it increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in women later on. It means that a woman will have to become more careful and test her sugar more often.
Symptoms of gestational diabetes
In most women, the signs and symptoms of gestational diabetes are not noticeable in the beginning. These include:
- Increased and unusual thirst
- Increased and unusual hunger
- Frequent need for urination
- Sugar in urine (seen through a urine test)
- Frequent vaginal infections
- Frequent bladder infections
- Frequent skin infections
- Blurriness in vision
See a doctor
You must see a doctor as soon as your plan for your baby so that the doctor checks if there exists a risk of gestational diabetes or other diseases in you or not. When you get pregnant, go for regular checkups to see if you have developed any disease or not. And if you feel as if you have developed this condition, know that you will require checkups more frequently.
Causes of gestational diabetes
The exact reason for developing gestational diabetes by some women and not by others is still unknown. But the following are considered to be the potential causes of gestational diabetes:
It is generally believed that hormonal change during pregnancy plays a role in the development of gestational diabetes. Hormones are responsible for maintaining your blood sugar levels and fluctuation in them makes it difficult for the body to process sugar in an efficient way.
Insufficient production of insulin
Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas to handle sugar levels. During pregnancy, the placenta produces a hormone that causes glucose to accumulate. It is insulin’s duty to balance the effect of the hormone. But if the pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin to overcome the effect of glucose, it can result in the rise of sugar levels in the blood. Increasing levels of sugar in the blood causes gestational diabetes.
Obesity before pregnancy
If a woman has excess weight or obesity before conceiving, she has a greater risk of developing gestational diabetes.
There are several other potential causes of gestational diabetes. The following can increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes in you:
- Previous history of any type of diabetes
- Race or cultural history
- Diabetes in family
- Lack of physical activities
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Delivering a baby weighing more than 9 pounds in the past
Effects of gestational diabetes
If the gestational diabetes mellitus is not handled with care and responsibility, it can lead to very high sugar levels, causing difficulties for the mother and the baby. It can increase the chances of requiring a c-section to deliver the baby. The following include the complications that you or your baby might face due to gestational diabetes:
Death of baby
It is possible that untreated gestational diabetes causes the death of the baby before or after the birth
Gestational diabetes can cause the baby to grow too large. Delivering such babies can cause birth injuries and may require a c-section to be delivered.
High sugar levels in the blood might increase the chances of early labor and delivery. It can even be caused due to the large size of babies.
Breathing difficulties in the baby
Babies who are premature may experience respiratory disorders.
Hypoglycemia in baby
Gestational diabetes in mothers can cause their babies to have low sugar levels in blood right after birth. It can cause seizures in the baby. The babies require feeding or glucose drips in order to get their sugar levels back to normal.
Risk of type 2 diabetes in the future
The mother and baby have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in later life due to gestational diabetes.
High blood pressure
Gestational diabetes increases the risk of complications during birth. It may cause high blood pressure and other symptoms that can be fatal to both, the life of the mother and the child.
Diagnosis of gestational diabetes
If the doctor senses the risk of the development of gestational diabetes in you, he or she is most likely to refer you to a few tests and ask a few questions. The doctor may ask you:
- Your medical history
- If you have had obesity or excess weight before pregnancy
- If you have diabetes in your or your family’s history
The tests prescribed to you may include:
Glucose challenge test
In this test, you will have to drink a glucose syrup and then test your sugar after an hour. If the sugar level is normal that means you do not have gestational diabetes, but if it is higher than the normal sugar level, you’ll be tested for glucose tolerance to determine whether you have it or not.
Glucose tolerance test
It is just like the first test, but the solution is sweeter than the first one. Then your blood sugar levels will be checked every 2-3 hours to check if it is higher than normal or not. And in case it is, you’ll be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
Find a doctor
If you are looking for a doctor near you, please do give a visit to the website of the harbor compounding pharmacy. Not only do they refer doctors, but they have a variety of supplements for women’s sexual health, compounded hormones in all forms, medicines for women’s general health, etc.