Why take a Strep B test?
Knowing if you carry Group B Strep (GBS, Strep B, Group B Streptococcus) during pregnancy is a good idea. GBS is more common than you may think.
Between 20-40% of adults have the bacterium living normally in the bowel while 20-25% of pregnant women can carry the bacteria in the bowel or vagina.
GBS is symptomless and usually harmless to the mother, but in some cases it can cause life-threatening infection to a newborn. When a mother carrying Strep B is untreated 1 in 400 will develop a GBS infection, 1 baby will die and 1 baby will survive with long term disability.
It is vital that women are informed of the risks associated with GBS as most infections can be avoided. The UK do not routinely screen for GBS, testing is carried out on a risk based approach, but many women who do not fall into the "at risk" category's are missed.