Insulin-dependent diabetic women have been shown to have subnormal hormone levels in the first trimester of pregnancy. To determine whether these abnormalities were the result of poor diabetes control, testosterone, androstenedione, human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), and prolactin were studied longitudinally in diabetic women made normoglycemic before conception (N = 11) and normal (N = 6) control subjects beginning at the fifth week of gestation. HCG levels rose normally in all 11 diabetic and six control subjects and then declined as expected, with peak levels between 8 and 12 wk of gestation. Prolactin levels similarly rose significantly (P < 0.00001) during the period studied. Plasma androstenedione did not increase during the course of this study, but testosterone levels increased significantly (P = 0.0001). Androgen levels were consistently higher in diabetic subjects despite the normoglycemic state, although the differences reached statistical significance at only one point. This study demonstrates that when normoglycemia is achieved before conception, HCG and prolactin are normal at 5 wk after the last menstrual period. The possibility that androgen levels may be higher in insulin-requiring diabetic women, perhaps due to peripheral hyperinsulinemia, should be explored.

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