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Group B Strep

(24 Posts)
TreeSparrow Mon 14-Sep-15 21:17:23

Anyone asked for a test for this? Do you pay or is it available on the NHS?

Kaz4755 Mon 14-Sep-15 21:53:25

Hi, you have to pay for it privately. Well worth the £36 in my opinion, you take the test around week 36, mine came back positive. It just means you have iv antibiotics every four hours throughout labour and you have to go into hospital as soon as you start labour. I still had a water birth so it didn't affect any of that. Better to know you have it and for you to have the iv than your baby have them once born.x

AbbeyRoadCrossing Mon 14-Sep-15 22:04:45

Depends on your NHS area. I was tested in my first pregnancy on NHS and had it. I've since moved area but am getting a test at 36 weeks because I had it last time. Worth asking your midwife or consultant in case, but many areas you have to go private.

sepa Tue 15-Sep-15 14:35:40

I was given information about It at my 12 week scan. You have to pay if you want it where I am as the hospital doesn't offer it. Worth checking with the hospital you are giving birth in

dizzylemon Tue 15-Sep-15 14:44:49

I live in Hampshire and was asked to give a sample for testing this at my initial booking in appointment.

NullaBore Tue 15-Sep-15 14:48:20

I had mine done outside UK around 9 weeks and results put in my notes (l was visiting home, didn't specifically leave the UK for the test!).

I tested positive and I'm glad l know.

Autumn2014 Tue 15-Sep-15 14:53:38

Why isn't it routine?

AbbeyRoadCrossing Tue 15-Sep-15 15:08:10

There's a petition about it on to make it routine.
I'd say pretty much because of cost. Also it comes and goes and a lot of women have it, so there's an argument about whether all these women would need antibiotics unnecessarily and the cost of that.

GoooRooo Tue 15-Sep-15 15:58:20

I paid for a private one. Took a couple of minutes to do at home and posted it off. £35 later I got a text in a couple of days saying it was negative.

RooibosTeaAgain Tue 15-Sep-15 16:46:11

I had a swab for thrush ( Dr refused to give me medication for thrush without results of a swab) and it showed up for group B strep ( did not ask for that test) in first trimester!

Focusfocus Tue 15-Sep-15 17:21:42

Just ordered my pack. All you need to do is text the word GBS to 88020. Then follow their instructions.

CarShare Tue 15-Sep-15 19:24:13

Thanks Focus. I just ordered mine too. Midwife advised it's best done after 38 weeks. Has anyone been given different advice?

AbbeyRoadCrossing Tue 15-Sep-15 19:36:06

My consultant is doing mine at 36. I think they like to do it as close to possible labour date as they can.

ammature Tue 15-Sep-15 20:10:47

my midwife kind of fobbed me off on it, said if the NHS recommended it they would do it, but i read plenty on here so would like to do it privately. Can you swab yourself? And DIY from home etc.?

Runningupthathill82 Tue 15-Sep-15 20:25:03

It's not routine because GBS comes and goes. You might test positive at 36 weeks and not have it by 40 weeks, for example.

So testing everyone would be costly and pointless, as would giving antibiotics to all those women who had tested positive at some point.

I had the test due to unrelated issues at 39 weeks and tested positive. Had to have four or five lots of IV antibiotics during labour. Not convinced there was a need,but wasn't going to take a risk and refuse them.

TreeSparrow Tue 15-Sep-15 21:53:38

Ok thanks for all the replies. I've seen the petition and that's partly why I asked the question here. I'll ask my midwife at the next appointment about my options.

NewBallsPlease00 Tue 15-Sep-15 22:00:40

I've spoken at length to friends who are GP's, my practise nurse and midwife about it
They all said- some of them for themselves too ie currently pregnant- that it's too unreliable
As in you could test negative and then have it later and vice versa
My friend had it and had a very poorly son, so I'm torn but have decided not to (am currently 37 wks)
Nhs here (mids) don't test, private only cost about £60

cth1982 Wed 16-Sep-15 12:19:17

I think this test should be offered to women on the NHS close to their due dates - it seems crazy that they don't test for something that could harm babies.

I tested positive when I had some bleeding in early pregnancy (swab picked it up) so at least now I have some control over the information I have. Have a chat with your Midwife and see what they advise though.

Runningupthathill82 Wed 16-Sep-15 15:00:27

Not crazy at all, cth. Think about it - what does "close to their due dates" mean, really?
When I tested positive at 39 weeks it was explained to me that I may or may not still be positive at 40 weeks, and it was my choice whether to take the antibiotics or not (I did, but it did add another complicating factor in an already long and difficult labour).

So many people go overdue, others deliver early - getting a test done near the point of birth would be nigh on impossible to predict. Thus meaning lots of missed tests (and therefore missed gp appts) for those who deliver early, and perhaps pointless tests for those who go overdue. All at a huge cost to the nhs.

Around a quarter of women carry GBS at any one time. It's normal. But obviously a quarter of babies do not suffer problems. Research shows only a very small percentage of babies born to women with GBS go on to develop GBS infection. Meaning that, if everyone was tested, thousands upon thousands of women would be having pointless IV antibiotics during labour, which would affect their birth choices.

Antibiotics in labour were a big deal for me. As my labour was so long I had to have four or five lots (can't quite remember!) which obviously affected the active water birth I had planned.

I'm not anti-GBS testing, per se. I'm just pointing out that it's not as simplistic as saying not testing for it is "crazy." There are very good reasons why the test isn't offered as standard.

cth1982 Thu 17-Sep-15 10:37:58

but is is offered as standard in pretty much every other part of the Western world which is why I find it strange they don't do it here as there must be some merit to it.

I think as long as women have all the information to hand they can make informed decisions - I know it impacts the choices you have birth wise if you decide to go ahead with having the drip but at least you had the information to make that choice.

I think it is def something Midwives should mention to women at least - I had no idea about Step B until I tested positive for it and had no idea what issues it could cause!

mandy214 Thu 17-Sep-15 10:48:36

10 years ago, I was tested for it - don't know whether it was because I was going to deliver very prematurely (at 27 weeks) and they wanted to check what other complications I might have, but I was +ve. Had antibiotics in my labour.

My 2lb 6oz twins were in NICU. The baby in the incubator next to them was a 9lb + baby, born at term, who had GBS (but his mum didn't know she was a carrier). He'd had a fit at birth, his heart had stopped and he was very poorly.

2nd pregnancy, I would routinely have been given antibiotics because I'd previously had a GBS pregnancy, but labour was too quick. Policy was that I had to stay in for 24 hours for observation to check DD was OK.

I definitely think it is worth asking. If you can pay for a private test (if it is not offered routinely) at the end of your pregnancy, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Crazycatlady15 Thu 17-Sep-15 13:12:58

I didn't even know that Group B Strep existed until one of my dear friends sadly lost her child earlier this year after the baby contracted meningitis as a result of the Group B Strep. I paid for a private test at 38 weeks which was thankfully negative but it was worth every penny when I see the heartbreak they suffer being without their darling daughter.

I did ask my midwife why the NHS do not test for it and she said it was the cost.

Barbarbarbarbarbaby Fri 18-Sep-15 13:31:25

Runningupthehill explains it well.

Other countries will offer it because women pay for it via paid insurance or paying directly for their maternity care.

Testing negative at any point in pregnancy can still mean you are positive at birth and only a very very few babies are affected. Also antibiotics are only 60percent effective. So there is always risk.

We should all monitor our babes after birth for signs of wellbeing.
Finally antibiotic resistance is no small matter. We need to use them most effectively.

Skiptonlass Fri 18-Sep-15 15:25:54

Just to add to the 'why isn't everyone tested?' Question.

As pps have said, it's not that effective to screen, the bacteria can come and go and only a tiny percentage of GBS+ women give birth to babies with issues.

There are risks to giving antibiotics during labour as well. As well as the possibility of allergy, and the horror that is antibiotic resistance, it seems that babies do on some level benefit from the gut and vaginal flora they are exposed to during birth. The research is still in a very early stage and right now it's not at all clear that the increase in the number of babies given antibiotics during labour wouldn't have a negative effect which outweighed the few that were GBS +. Especially since not all of those GBS+ ab dosed babies would benefit. Blanket giving of antibiotics is never a good idea in any case.

These things are really difficult for epidemiologists to make a call on - they have to make that call based on clinical evidence and right now that evidence isn't there or is insufficient.

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