Insulin Side effects During Pregnancy

Diabetes free pregnancy


Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas. It is commonly used during pregnancy to manage diabetes, particularly pre-existing diabetes or gestational diabetes. Pregnant women generally need diabetes treatment. Insulin can be administered through an insulin pen or syringe.  Insulin during pregnancy is considered safe and effective, but there can be some adverse reactions to keep in mind. It can manage the blood sugar levels caused by pre-existing diabetes or gestational diabetes.

Insulin plays an important role in the regulation of blood glucose levels. The pancreas releases the insulin hormone into the bloodstream when blood sugar levels rise after a meal. People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes require insulin to control their blood sugar levels. Insulin formulation is available in short-acting, intermediate-acting, long-acting, and rapid-acting forms, to fulfil the specific requirement of diabetics. Although insulin is available in oral or inhaled form, it is not frequently used.


Side effects of insulin during Pregnancy and Insulin Usage

Blood glucose levels go from high to low when pregnant women take insulin. Research demonstrates that the intake of insulin may increase the size of the placenta more than normal and be heavier during pregnancy. It is essential to control the blood glucose level for a healthy pregnancy and baby. Insulin is generally safe and effective, but there are some adverse reactions and considerations:

  1. Weight gain: During pregnancy, some women may experience weight due to the amount of insulin taken. Insulin enhances the glucose storage and other nutrients that lead to the fat deposition.
  2. Reaction on injection site: At the injection site, sometimes insulin injection side effects during pregnancy may cause redness, pain, or swelling. Changing the injection site and appropriate injection technique can minimize these reactions.
  3. Allergic Reaction: Some women may experience an allergic reaction due to insulin such as breathing problems, rashes, or itching. It is important to take medical help if any signs of allergic reactions occur.
  4. Hypoglycemia (Lower blood pressure): If the insulin dose is too high or missed meals, it can lower the blood glucose level leading to hypoglycemia. The signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia include confusion, sweating, dizziness, and shakiness.
  5. Hypokalemia: Insulin intake can decrease the potassium level leading to symptoms such as irregular heart rhythm, weakness, or fatigue. 

During pregnancy, insulin requirements may change due to hormonal fluctuations, increased insulin resistance, and changes in diet plan. Pregnant women with diabetes need to go for regular checkups to reduce the risk of complications for themselves and their babies.  


Management and Monitoring

  1. During pregnancy, insulin is not the only single accepted treatment for diabetes. Exercise and diet are important treatments for anyone who deals with diabetes. Pregnant women with gestational diabetes require this treatment to control blood glucose levels. 
  2. Pregnant women should develop healthy food choices including fruits, vegetables, proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats.
  3. Daily exercise also helps to manage the blood glucose level by using extra blood sugar for energy.
  4. Regular Medical follow-ups are essential for monitoring the health of the fetus and mother.


Special Considerations of diabetes during pregnancy

  • Insulin Requirement: As the pregnancy progresses, insulin requirements may change, particularly in the second and third trimesters, due to hormonal changes that lead to insulin resistance.
  • Postpartum Considerations: Insulin needs to increase rapidly after delivery. In the postpartum period, close monitoring and adjustments are necessary to prevent the adverse reaction of insulin (hypoglycemia).



During pregnancy, insulin is essential to treat diabetes type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes and outweighs the risk associated with adverse effects. Pregnant women need to work closely with healthcare professionals to manage their conditions effectively and ensure the best outcome for them and their babies.