Strep B

Hi just looking for some advice. I got a phone call today from the hospital telling me i have strep B after getting some swabs done due to being unwell 😢 am 14+ weeks and just abit worried and left abit unsure as to what this means now. I was told my midwife will be in contact and it will be discussed at my next hospital appointment on the 18th of April 😕

3 Replies

  • Hi Jadey11, sorry to hear you've been unwell, hope you're better!

    I'm afraid we can't give you any advice, but hopefully this information will help:

    Carrying group B Strep (GBS) is perfectly normal and natural. It is normal gut flora in 20-30% of people (men and women), and ‘colonises’ the vagina in roughly 22% of all women. Although GBS can be passed through sexual contact, it is not a sexually transmitted disease, and carrying the bacterium is not associated with any health risks or symptoms to the carrier.

    In the UK, pregnant women are not routinely offered testing for group B Strep, unlike in many other developed countries.

    Group B Strep will sometimes be detected when samples are taken for other reasons – for example, from a urine sample, or from a vaginal or rectal swab. But often it’s not detected, because the test widely used within the NHS was not developed to find group B Strep and, unsurprisingly, is not very good at doing so. The standard ‘non-specific’ tests used within the NHS give a high proportion of falsely-negative results, though a positive result is reliable.

    It’s good to know whether you carry group B Strep during your pregnancy. If you do, preventative action can be taken to minimise the chance of your newborn baby developing group B Strep infection.

    If group B Strep is detected at any time during your pregnancy, you should be offered intravenous antibiotics from the start of your labour and at intervals until your baby is born. No treatment for GBS carriage (GBS detected from vaginal or rectal swabs) is required or shown to be beneficial before labour starts, since no antibiotics tested so far have been shown reliably to eradicate GBS carriage.

    You can read more about all this at

  • Thank you so much

  • Please don't worry about carrying GBS. It is very common to carry it. I had GBS in my first pregnancy back in 2008 but they didn't tell me and didn't treat me for it. I am not 100% certain if that was the sole reason she ended up in SCBU but when I had my son 2 years later (2010), they automatically gave me IV antibiotics in labour. I also had IV antibiotics in labour for my 3rd (2012) and 4th (born Feb 2015) as it was standard procedure. In May of 2015, they changed the rules and no longer give automatic IV antibiotics in labour if you are positive for GBS. HTH.

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