The Three-Hour Glucose Test: You Have Nothing to Fear

The dreaded Three-Hour Glucose Test. It’s the test you hear about and hope you do not have to do. The type of test that can bring great anxiety and make you ask the following questions: What if I fail? Are they really going to make me drink even more of that gross glucose drink? How painful of a process is it? I have had to do this test for both of my pregnancies and I want to ease your mind if you, too, have to face this test.

You did not pass the one-hour test…what happens next?

If you do not pass the one-hour glucose test, it may feel overwhelming at first. Do not panic! Your OBGYN will schedule the three-hour test and will review the three-day diet that you will need to follow. My OBGYN had me follow a high carb diet in which I had to make sure I ate at least 150-200 grams of carbs per day. This part of the test is easy and the most enjoyable. I followed a suggested menu and made sure that I hit my daily carb count.  On the third day, you have to start fasting 12 hours before your scheduled test.

Day of the Test

I am not going to lie, you will probably feel pretty hungry before your test. Just remember you cannot eat. I recommend bringing a protein bar for after the test to help make your stomach feel better. My OBGYN office has a lab inside so I just brought some books and my iPad and hung out in my car between each draw. 

The test comprises of the following: blood draws every hour for a total of four (one to get your fasting level and the rest after you drink the glucose drink). Each blood draw must be an hour apart so stay close to the testing site. There are many opinions regarding the drink but here are my thoughts: drink it cold and drink it as fast as you can. Try not to focus on the taste, although it truly is not that bad. I find this process to be very exhausting so I highly recommend taking the day off from work so that after the test you can relax.

After the Test

Waiting for the results can be stressful but try to focus on the positives in life. Whatever the results may be, you can face them. I have been fortunate to pass this test for both of my pregnancies. However, when my doctor and I talked about what it would mean if I did not she said that I would most likely need to make a dietary change (i.e. give up on my beloved orange soda and chips). If you do not pass, remember to stay calm and talk with your doctor. It is unlikely that you will face a worst case scenario in which you are put on insulin.


Remember to stay calm and to not panic. This test is not that terrible and you can do it. I strongly recommend working with your OBGYN if you have any questions or concerns regarding this test and the process. You and your doctor should have a partnership to work together to keep you and your baby healthy.

If you’re currently pregnant, check out this post about thyroid health during pregnancy.


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