During the test
This test is often done in a doctor's office, clinic, or hospital by a health professional. It can take up to 4 hours to complete.
If you are being tested to screen for gestational diabetes, you will be asked to drink a sweet beverage upon arrival. A blood sample will be collected in approximately 1 hour. If the result of this test is abnormal, you may be asked to complete another test as outlined below.
For other purposes, a blood sample is first collected upon arrival. You will be asked to drink a sweet beverage and blood samples would be drawn at 1, 2, and 3 hours after the drink. Blood may also be drawn at other times.
To draw blood, a health professional will first wrap an elastic band around your upper arm to locate your vein. Then he or she will clean the needle site with alcohol and insert the needle into the vein and draw a small volume of blood. After the needle is removed, you should apply pressure to the needle site with a cotton ball to stop the bleeding. You may feel some pain at the needle site and feel faint after several samples are drawn.
After the test
After the test is completed, you can go back to your daily activities as usual.
Based on the numerical values of the test results (high, normal, or low), your doctor will be able to interpret the results in combination with other symptoms you may have to make a diagnosis. If your results are abnormal, your doctor may also recommend further testing.