Test for Beta Strep

Where to order Group B Strep test for home use in the UK: Group B Strep Support

Group B Streptococcus is a type of bacterial infection that can be found in about 25% of pregnant women’s vagina or rectum. Women who test positive for GBS are said to be colonized. A mother can pass GBS to her baby during delivery.

In the United States, there is not a reliable test that is for home use because it takes a very expensive piece of equipment to read the result, so one must resort to sending specimens to a lab. If you are having a doctor attend your birth, the doctor will order this test and send it to a lab. If you are having a home birth, a midwife can take specimens and see that they get to a lab. Even if you are having an unassisted birth, I would recommend going to a midwife to have the test. However, if you want to handle this yourself, see pages 744-746 in Understanding Diagnostic Tests in the Childbearing Year, 7th Edition, Anne Frye, CPM, 2017.

Screening for GBS usually is done between the 35th and 37th week of pregnancy. Not every baby born to a positive GBS mother will become ill. If you have these symptoms, you may be at greater risk of delivering a baby with GBS:

  • Labor or rupture of membranes before 37 weeks
  • Fever during labor
  • A urinary tract infection as a result of GBS during your pregnancy
  • A previous baby with GBS

The more invasive procedures you have during the prenatal period, the more the likelihood of being infected increases, I.e., cervical checks, stripping of membranes, etc. If you want to decrease invasive procedures, home birth is your best option, as many doctors and hospitals require invasive procedures.

If you test positive for GBS, antibiotics during labor is the standard medical treatment. However, very often a woman will test positive and then test negative at a later test. So if you are asymptomatic, it doesn’t make sense to treat when you can test positive again after treatment that results in a negative test.

However, if a woman wants to increase the likelihood of clearing this organism from her system, recommendations are propolis by pill or tincture 3 times a day or echinacea by tincture. Echinacea has a specific effect on staph. An infusion can be diluted and used as a douche. 500 mg Vitamin C can generally boost the immune system.

Effects upon babies with GBS:

  • Signs and symptoms occurring within hours of delivery
  • Sepsis, pneumonia, and meningitis, which are the most common complications
  • Breathing problems
  • Heart and blood pressure instability
  • Gastrointestinal and kidney problems

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