has anyone ever tested negative for strep b? i have it and so far any of my friends that have been tested have all been positive and all have scared themselves silly about it thinking they have an awful disease and if it is really common why is everyone not routinley tested?
I don't know how many people test negative, but I'd have liked to have been tested before my first labour, as I ended up very ill with it (thankfully not the baby, though). The point of testing is that it's an easy problem to avoid by administering antibiotics in labour, so it shouldn't lead to panic.
From what I remember 30% of women carry it of which the vast majority never know and it doesn't cause harm. If you are the one person that becomes ill or whose baby is affected it is obviously a huge deal but that has to be weighed up against a drip and 4 hourly antibiotics throughout labour that can interfere with labour (as you can't move so easily) and the risk of undiagnosed penicillin allergy.
Personally if it was found accidently because I had problems then I'd go for the antibiotics as if I knew and something went wrong I couldn't forgive myself, but I'm avoiding finding out if at all possible and wouldn't pay for a test privately myself. It's something that there isn't really enough information on yet to give good advice on and is something you have to weigh up for yourself and discuss with your doctor.
I did test for it, a friend of a friend's baby died as a result of it (many many years ago) and so it seemed better to know. I tested positive, had the antibiotics with no problems, DD was absolutely fine; she probably would have been anyway as in the end I only had time for one lot of ABs and anyway my waters didn't break until the very end of the first stage, which reduces the chance of infection. Yes, the canala thing was annoying and it did mean we couldn't go to the fancy birth centre we'd been considering. But for the peace of mind, it was worth it, and I've just sent off for the test again for this pregnancy (and this time there's a new birth centre at the hospital where they will accept GBS positive women). Don't know why your friends are worrying about it, if they know enough about GBS to have bothered getting tested one would think they would also know how utterly insignificant it is.