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Are you having private strep b test?

(16 Posts)
MsBranwen Fri 18-Aug-17 09:36:36

I am really in 2 minds about whether to have a private strep b test as it is not routinely offered on NHS. I know it is standard to test for it in some other countries and I wonder whether the NHS not offering the test is just a financial thing? I do have genuine concerns about over-use of antibiotics and the effect that being exposed to antibiotics might have on my baby in terms of gut flora etc if I do end up testing positive. Am also concerned that if I test positive I won't be able to have the nice birth centre water birth that would be my preference... but I'm also really worried about anything happening to my baby and would hate to have any regrets.

What have been your experiences of this?

ADuckNamedSplash Fri 18-Aug-17 11:26:55

I found this webpage to be quite informative, yet unbiased:

Ultimately I did have the test and mine came back positive last week. With that in mind, I absolutely want antibiotics in labour. Although the probability of infection to the baby is still low, for me, the potential impact of it far outweighs the potential downsides of the antibiotics. I was considered that I might have a fight on my hands to get them, given that GBS isn't routinely tested for, as you say, but my midwife reassured me that in her experience, she's never known anyone who tested positive to be refused them if requested.

ADuckNamedSplash Fri 18-Aug-17 11:27:41


Jennypug Fri 18-Aug-17 11:35:36

I got a positive group b strep result picked up randomly when I was being tested for thrush. I've told my consultant at the hospital and he just stuck a sticker on my notes to say I'd need antibiotics. That bro g said, if you don't want to treat it in labour I don't think I'd bother being tested. It has just given me one more thing to worry about.

mysecret321 Fri 18-Aug-17 19:21:23

I'm going to have it done though I probably wouldn't have considered if it wasn't for the fact that my best friend's little girl died from it at 7days old sad

tuxedocat Fri 18-Aug-17 20:18:00

Where can you get the GBS test?

mysecret321 Sat 19-Aug-17 05:00:35

I'll see if my friend can send me a link for the company that's doing the test I think it's in the region of £35 they send you out a kit and then you send it bk the result comes through in like 3 working days?

Callamia Sat 19-Aug-17 05:12:06

I did for both pregnancy. Both were negative. For £35 a time, I was perfectly happy to find out something that could be important, and to do something proactive about reducing anxiety.

As it was, I was given antibiotics during the second birth for being over 24hrs past waters breaking and my first baby was given antibiotics for several days post birth for possible sepsis. So, we all had a fill of antibiotics anyway.

tuxedocat Sat 19-Aug-17 09:09:10

Thank you! £35 isn't a lot for the piece of mind and I've been finding lots of posts on it recently such as Instagram and it's beginning to play on my mind a little. I'm 24 weeks so perhaps worth waiting a little later to test incase it's negative now and possibly positive later?

Thanks ladies!

ADuckNamedSplash Sat 19-Aug-17 09:20:17

I used Strepelle - it works as mysecret321 described. They recommend you do the test between 35 and 37 weeks, because it can come and go, but the results are generally valid for at least 5 weeks (in something like 87% of cases). I tested at 36 + 5 and my midwife wrote the date of the test in my notes.

tuxedocat Sat 19-Aug-17 09:25:50

Thanks duck I've got some time to think on it but glad to have an option smile

ItsLikeRainOnYourWeddingDay Sat 19-Aug-17 10:39:40

This is the official website. I did it for both my pregnancies.

YoungGirlGrowingOld Sat 19-Aug-17 10:44:02

I had my pre-natal card in a country that offers the rest routinely. It was negative but I know 2 people whose babies contracted it, only one of which survived. sad £35 well spent imo.

Aria2015 Sat 19-Aug-17 10:45:14

I had high anxiety in my pregnancy (due to having losses before) and asked to pay for the private test but they just ended up doing it for free because it was causing me anxiety. It came back negative but I did feel better for having done it.

silkybear Sat 19-Aug-17 11:06:16

I tested postive which meant I couldn't have the home birth I had planned. I refused the antibiotics in labour after alot of research but agreed to the 24 hours extra stay in hospital for them to monitor baby and give anti bs at the first sign of any issues. She was completely fine and didn't need them. Many women have group b and will never know about it so its best to be prepared and take the test. The reason for my reluctance for the anti bs is they wipe out the gut flora the baby gets from you in the womb and leave baby open to other bugs floating round hospital such as mrsa and ecoli- anti bs are not a guarantee that baby won't get seriously sick even if you have them in labour sometimes they are not given early enough. There is disagreement about how effective it is in labour, I would urge you to do your own research from reputable sources if it does come back positive and decide from there how you want to approach it. The most dangerous thing is to be untested and the baby be not monitored afterwards as that is how some babies get ill very quickly with parents not knowing what to look out for. Group b can be there one minute then not the next and most babies will have no issues, so that is why the nhs dont test for it. I'm pregnant with my 2nd and they have told me not to bother testing this time as its already on my notes so they won't offer anti bs and will just keep an extra eye on baby 2 for any signs of illness. If they spot anything they will give anti bs to baby straight away. Good luck however you proceed with it.

silkybear Sat 19-Aug-17 11:08:26

It would be worth speaking to your birth centre about their policy on it as it may differ from hospital.

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