During pregnancy, the woman’s body undergoes various changes due to its adaptation to pregnancy, to ensure a better development of the fetus. The hormonal changes , especially, causes several effects such as the accumulation of blood glucose . This happens because the body blocks the action of insulin in order to provide more sugar and energy to the fetus.
However, excess glucose can be harmful to both mother and baby. For this reason, all pregnant women undergo a medical test called the O’Sullivan test in order to be able to control these levels and act if they are not adequate. At FastlyHealwe explain how the O’Sullivan test works , what its normal values are and the possible consequences of an inappropriate result.
What is the O’Sullivan test?
The O’Sullivan test is a medical test that is performed on all pregnant women, usually at 24-28 weeks of gestation (sixth month, second trimester), to measure blood glucose and rule out the presence of complications such as Gestational diabetes, which we will talk about later. However, there are some exceptional cases in which it is recommended to do the test somewhat earlier , for example when the mother is over 35 years old, is obese, has a history of diabetes or has suffered from glucose problems in previous pregnancies.
The O’Sullivan test is a very simple and safe test , and it is performed as follows:
- Before starting, a blood sample is taken from the mother to check her glycemia (a test that may or may not be attended on an empty stomach; it is not mandatory).
- Next, the mother receives a glucose solution (50 grams of dissolved sugar) that she must ingest to study the functioning of insulin in the body.
- To do this, you will have to wait for about an hour sitting without doing physical exercise, so that the ingested glucose is not consumed.
- At the end of that time, a new blood test is performed that will serve to compare and observe the ability of insulin to regulate glucose levels in the body.
O’Sullivan’s test normal values
The results of the O’Sullivan test are obtained the same day it is performed, so there is no waiting to be able to discuss the results with the gynecologist or midwife. Normal values should show a blood glucose level equal to or less than 140 mg / dL .
If the results fit these figures, you should not have any more tests and you can continue with the rest of the routine controls that are carried out during pregnancy. However, when the test results are inadequate, your gynecologist may decide to have more tests , such as an oral glucose overload (SOG), to find out if you have a more serious condition.
Elevated glucose values in the O’Sullivan test
When blood glucose occurs above 140 mg / dL, you suffer the risk of diabetes gestaciona l . It is a type of type II diabetes, of non-autoimmune origin, for which the fetus receives too much glucose from the mother, due to the excessive blockage of insulin in its body. When it occurs, it is understood that the baby gets excess food; This can cause it to grow more than usual before it should – what is called fetal macrosomia -, suffer from congenital malformations, be born prematurely or suffer other associated complications. In addition, for the mother it can also have consequences, such as an increased risk of suffering from conception problems or diabetes mellitus after pregnancy.
It is estimated that almost 10% of pregnant women suffer from gestational diabetes. For this reason, the importance of the O’Sullivan test is stressed, a test that does not have any risk for the mother or the fetus and that can avoid serious complications in both.
Is it mandatory to take the O’Sullivan Test?
The O’Sullivan test is considered an optional medical test , but it is recommended to perform it because, as we have discussed, gestational diabetes poses a risk during pregnancy and delivery. Generally, women under 25 years of age, of normal weight, and without other risk factors – such as a family history of diabetes – may decide not to have the test.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to O’Sullivan’s Test: Normal Values , we recommend that you enter our Medication and Medical Tests category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.