One in four pregnant woman are unknowingly carrying Group B Strep bacteria – So what does that mean?
Group B streptococcus (Group B Strep or GBS) can cause Meningitis, Sepsis or Pneumonia. It affects more than 500 newborn babies every year and sadly on average one newborn baby dies every week from the Group B Strep infection.
As it stands in the UK at the moment a test for the GBS bacteria in pregnant woman is not routinely available through the NHS. In many other countries they do routinely test such as the USA, France, Germany and Poland.
I am in the UK and pregnant, is there a way I can have the test?
Thankfully the national charity, Group B Strep Support have partnered with HiberGene diagnostics to help test pregnant woman in the UK. The GBS test is called Strepelle, It only costs £39.99 is available from selected independent pharmacies and also online at http://www.strepelle.com.
It is one easy to use home to laboratory test recommended from 35 weeks gestation. Once you completed the test you send it off to the lab and the results are sent via a text within 3 working days and if you have a positive result a hard copy of the results will also be sent to you to give to your midwife. The GBS infection in newborns born to woman carrying it can be reduced by over 80% by offering Intravenous (IV) antibiotics during labour. It is so important that you are aware if you are a carrier so that your midwife can arrange the antibiotics for you!
I have a test for myself to use when I am 35 weeks. I will update you all in a few months when I have done this to share my own personal experience of Strepelle and to share my results.
NHS Group B Strep : http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/streptococcal-infections/pages/introduction.aspx
(This is a sponsored post by Strepelle, they were very kind enough to send me a test so thank you!)