Pregestational type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes exhibit different sexual steroid profiles during pregnancy

Gynecol Endocrinol. 2017 Mar;33(3):212-217. doi: 10.1080/09513590.2016.1248933. Epub 2016 Nov 29.


Higher androgen levels are observed in non-pregnant women with diabetes. Whether this hormonal profile is found during pregnancy is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the sexual steroids levels in pregnant women with pregestational type 2 (T2D) and gestational diabetes (GD) compared to healthy control (C) pregnant women during the second half of pregnancy. A prospective study of 69 pregnant women with T2D (n = 21), GD (n = 24) and control (C, n = 24) was followed up during the second half of gestation. Clinical assessments and blood samples were collected at 26.7 (25-27.8); 34 (32-34.9) and 37.5 (37-40) weeks of gestation. Androgens, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), estrogens, estradiol/testosterone (E/T) ratio, insulin, glucose, HOMA-IR, were measured. Testosterone, insulin and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) levels were higher in T2D compared with C at each sampling point during pregnancy, even after adjusting for BMI and age. Estrogens levels and estradiol/testosterone ratio were lower in T2D and GD compared with C. Hyperandrogenemia, and higher insulin resistance is observed in T2D, but not in GD during pregnancy. Decreased estrogen and E/T ratio found in T2D and GD suggests a diminished aromatase activity during gestation. T2D and GD are associated with specific changes in sexual steroids and insulin resistance levels during pregnancy.

Keywords: Androgens insulin resistance; diabetes; estrogens; gestational diabetes; hyperandrogenism; polycystic ovary syndrome; pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Androstenedione / blood
  • Chile
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Diabetes, Gestational / blood*
  • Diabetes, Gestational / metabolism
  • Diabetes, Gestational / physiopathology
  • Down-Regulation
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Estriol / blood
  • Estrone / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperandrogenism / complications*
  • Hyperandrogenism / etiology
  • Hyperinsulinism / complications*
  • Hyperinsulinism / etiology
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Pregnancy in Diabetics / blood*
  • Pregnancy in Diabetics / metabolism
  • Pregnancy in Diabetics / physiopathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tertiary Care Centers


  • Estrone
  • Androstenedione
  • Estradiol
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate
  • Estriol