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Strep B

(11 Posts)
berri Fri 10-Oct-08 10:06:40

I don't really know much about this but I remember a friend recommending I'm tested for it as part of my blood tests - is this something which normally happens automatically or do you have to request it? And is it necessary do you think?

I'm 24 weeks at the moment so due to get my bloods done (plus AntiD) at my next midwife appt.


lecohen Fri 10-Oct-08 10:21:00

Hi there, In this country, women are not tested for it as standard (think they do in USA). It usually involves taking a swab from the vagina.

I think it should be routinely offered as I have found out in this pregnancy that I have had it at some point (it can come and go) but will be treated with antibiotics in delivery as precaution.

It scares me to think that I could have had it in previous preg, and if I had a regular delivery, I would never have been offered the antibiotics and potentially risking the baby.

I would push for a test but not sure how willing your doctors would be.

StripeyKnickersSpottySocks Fri 10-Oct-08 10:23:12

It isn't done via a blood test but by a vaginal swab. NICE recommend that its not offerred routinely as its hard to pick up, a transient state and probably because of money.

Something like 40% of people have it at any time but you may only have it for a week and then it could go. So if you were tested for it at 39 weeks gestattion you may test negative, but go into labour 2 weeks later and you may have it. Or you could test positive for it and when you're actually in labour not have it but have to be given IV antibiotics in labour.

mrsgboring Fri 10-Oct-08 10:28:19

Ask your midwife. Ours recommend you get a test privately (UK is unusual in not offering GBS testing.)

Your midwife can probably tell you how to go about getting one - you send off for swabs and then send them back in the post. I think it was something called The Doctor's Laboratory.

I got it done in both pregnancies. It is true that's it's transient but most other developed countries do test for it routinely.

CookieMonster2 Fri 10-Oct-08 10:45:07

I'd get tested for it if you can. Getting it done privatly might be easier but can they refuse if you ask the midwife?
With my first pregnancy I asked my midwife and got a dismissive response of 'oh you won't have that' so I left it. Then found out I was positive after the baby had been born and had to go through the stress of having a 3 day old baby with a canular in her hand so she could get the antibiotics. Believe me, its much less stressful to get tested and take the antibiotics yourself if necessary.
I agree with the comments that it won't pick up all cases, but its better than not doing the test at all!

mrsgboring Fri 10-Oct-08 11:37:13

Midwives round here are very pro the test and actually provide the leaflet for the private testing (angry at non-joined-upness of NHS provision)

If your midwife is dismissive, get it from The Doctor's Laboratory

Check out the Group B Strep society's webpage too (googlable)

mel1981 Fri 10-Oct-08 11:57:17

My waters broke -for my 1st DS whos almost 5- the day before contractions and when the hospital examined me they took a swab and sent me home to await contractions or come back to be induced. Anyway had DS then a week later got a letter from hospital saying I had strep B. I asked the doctor & midwife who both said its nothing to worry about. This Morning had a piece on it and I was shocked that my boy could of been at risk of getting ill. For DS2 my midwife gave me a drip while in labour- i wasnt even tested again.
I'd get the test to be on the safe side. I think even privately its not that expensive worth being cautious. Alot of doctors etc still dont think its that important though.

Ebb Fri 10-Oct-08 12:14:29

I was the same as mel1981. Waters broke before contractions - routine swab - baby born next day - midwife arrives couple of days later and orders Ds straight to Doctors for check up and antibiotics for me. I was really stressed by it and so worried for Ds as I had read up on it before birth and my midwife had dismissed it too. Will have to have antibiotics for next birth but would rather that than my baby being harmed by GBS.

Tangle Fri 10-Oct-08 15:05:36

Just playing devil's advocate slightly, you don't have to have IV ABs if you go into labour and you're GBS postive. IV ABs carry risks for both you and the baby. I think current guidelines are to offer IV ABs to all women with a single risk factor and recommend them if you have multiple risk factors. Risk factors would include testing +ve for GBS, premature rupture of membranes, high temperature before/during labour, previous baby with GBS, pre-term labour.

I'm not saying don't have ABs if you're GBS+ve by any stretch but do read up on the issues and make an informed decision as, for me at least, it isn't a simple decision.

There's lots of info on the Group B Strep Support site, and a different take on homebirth site (most of its generic rather than homebirth oriented).

rainbowdays Fri 10-Oct-08 15:42:58

Tangle - good advice, I think that it is important to be informed, and make each woman makes the decision for herself, but if the decision is to not have IV AB's then be willing to alter her decision as necessary, for instance if she has prolonged labour after rupture of membranes or high temperature.

Both the websites you have given are good for information.

rainbowdays Fri 10-Oct-08 15:46:20

Sorry I meant if the decision is not to have IV AB's following a positive result.

I think the decision to be tested or not is equally an individual one. I did not know about strep B with my first pregnancy, but have learnt more recently about it.

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