In case you are thinking about the group B strep test you should know that group B strep bacteria is commonly located in the vagina, urinary bladder or rectum of women. Nonetheless this isn’t the bacteria that leads to strep throat. In the majority of the cases the infections aren’t serious for women.
Information about group B streptococcus
If you are thinking about testing for group B strep you should know that if the bacteria get to the kidneys, bladder or uterus of women, they could cause an infection. As a result women could suffer from inflammation and pain. The truth is that you could have such bacteria in your body and not be aware of it.
It is possible that you don’t think you need testing for group B strep but you have the bacteria, and in this case it is said that you are colonized. About 40%-70% of the women who give birth pass the bacteria to the baby too. Usually the babies aren’t affected by the bacteria.
Nonetheless you should consider having group B strep test because 1%-2% of the babies do develop an infection. In this case the little one could have mild problems that affect the brain, blood, spinal cord and lungs. There is no screening method or treatment that could avoid such an infection.
Testing for group B strep
The specialists agree that there are two kinds of acceptable screening methods. There is the possibility to routinely culture the pregnant women and in case they are colonized to treat them with antibiotics at the moment of the start of labor. Still there is another option too.
In case of this group B strep test doctors treat only those women who could pass the bacteria to the baby upon birth. In case the cultures aren’t done between weeks 35 and 37 or the results aren’t available at birth, the women at risk must be treated with antibiotics when they give birth.
In case you are thinking about testing for group B strep, for a woman has a history of kidney or bladder infections, the doctor could also test the urine for signs of infection. In case there are bacteria in the urine, but not in the rectum or vagina, the woman in question is still considered colonized.
How the group B strep test is done?
The process itself is simple and painless. The doctor uses a special Q tip that is inserted into the rectum or the vagina of the woman. Then it is placed in a special substance to see whether the bacteria will grow. This means doing a culture. If the bacteria grows the patient is colonized, if it doesn’t grow then she isn’t colonized.
As it has been mentioned before, regarding testing for group B strep, the women who tested positive will receive antibiotics when labor starts or when the membrane ruptures. In case she wasn’t tested, but she is at risk of passing the bacteria to the little one she will receive antibiotics to kill the bacteria.
According to the studies that have been conducted regarding group B strep test, it’s not a good idea to give pregnant women antibiotics. This is because in about 65% of the cases, by the time of childbirth the bacteria has already regrown, so taking the antibiotics turned out to be pretty pointless.
Infections in newborns
Regarding testing for group B strep, you should know that there are two main kinds that babies could get.
Now the parents may understand why it is so important to have a group B strep test.