antenatal screening programme

Gestational diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high. Glucose comes from starchy foods like bread, rice, potatoes, chapatis, yams and plantain. It is also found in sugary foods, and from the liver which makes glucose.

Read more about diabetes on the NHS website.

UK NSC screening recommendation Based on the last UK NSC review of this condition that occurred in March 2021.

Screening is not currently recommended for this condition.

The UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) does not currently recommended screening for gestational diabetes because:

  • there is no evidence that the benefits of screening outweigh the harms
  • there is no screening test that is accurate enough and would be safe for everyone (this is because the test involves giving pregnant women a sugar solution to drink when she might have poor blood sugar control)
  • the evidence is uncertain about when women would need further treatment after the screening test

Although national screening is not recommended, there are NICE clinical practice guidelines which aim to:

  • improve the diagnosis of gestational diabetes
  • help women with diabetes to self-manage their blood glucose levels before and during pregnancy

Supporting documents from the 2021 review

Evidence review
This document provides the evidence on which the current UK NSC recommendation is based.

This document summarises the review process including the public consultation comments.

Review cycle

Date previous review completed: 2021

Next review estimated to be completed: 2024 to 2025.

To see previous evidence reviews, visit the UK NSC archive.

Organisations interested in Gestational diabetes

These organisations have expressed interest in this recommendation and may submit responses to evidence reviews.

List of organisations

If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us.