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Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

What happens during a group B strep test, and what is it for?

Re: What happens during a group B strep test, and what is it for?

The Bump Expert

About 10-30 percent of pregnant women are carrying a bacterium called group B streptococcus (GBS). (Most have never had symptoms from it and don’t know it’s in there.) If do have the GBS bacteria floating around in your body (usually in your reproductive or digestive tracts) and aren’t aware, it can be passed on to your child during delivery, possibly leading to serious illness in baby’s first weeks of life.

Don’t get too freaked out -- most babies won’t contract any problems from the bacteria, but some do wind up with very serious disorders or disabilities. If the bacteria is found on those swabs, you’ll be treated with antibiotics to help keep baby in the clear. Every woman should get tested between weeks 35 and 37 of pregnancy, so ask your doc about the test if she hasn’t mentioned it. Newborns aren’t exposed to GBS during c-sections, meaning no antibiotics are needed for planned cesareans -- but, you should still get tested in case you go into preterm labor.

As for the testing, here’s how it goes: Your doc will swab your vagina and rectum to get samples, which will then be sent over to lab to be grown in a special substance to check for the presence of GBS. You’ll probably get your results within two days. It’s as easy as that. Not fun, per se, but simple -- and essential to protect baby.

American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists. Your pregnancy and birth. 4th ed. Washington, DC: ACOG; 2005.

Erin Walters

re: Q: Group B strep test?

WHAT?? rectum?! how come i'm just now hearing of this?!?!

stbmrscraig |

re: Q: Group B strep test?

uh newsflash! i had a c-section and my baby was exposed to it and extremely sick after she was born! do not believe what you hear! i even tested negative for it.

eulbergs |

re: Q: Group B strep test?

my midwife just had me do this myself in the bathroom at the ob/midwife office. just a quick swab, very easy :)

nonlinea |

re: Q: Group B strep test?

Whoa!! Rectum?! Yeah they sure snuck that in there!

teslauren |

re: Q: Group B strep test?

they did not test my rectum, only my vagina.

gabester |

re: Q: Group B strep test?

how do you get GBS?

squirrel |

re: Q: Group B strep test?

Good question SQUIRREL... can anyone tell us how you contract GBS. Maybe not contract, because I read somewhere that HEALTHY women can carry this. But Where does it come from??Yes, I don't like the messing with the "EXIT ONLY" area.:O(

kima76 |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

Ditto. But if I do it myself as nonlinea said she did, then I can manage that.

StrLuvr130 |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

I've been doing some research about it. It's just something that some people have. It's not an STD or anything like that. It's a bacteria of sorts that colonizes in the vigina or rectum (as stated above). As for the healthy woman that have it, they just happen to be carriers. From my understanding, the only person that can be affected by you having GBS is the baby. It won't affect your partner. The test isn't that invasive. It's just a swab with minimal rectal penetration. Same for the vaginal portion. If you test positive, when you go to the hospital to give birth, they will hook you up to an IV of antibiotics as a preventative measure. And in response to eulbergs, research has shown that a C-section will NOT prevent the baby from coming into contact with GBS. So thank you for pointing that out.

MEGrover |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

When they say swab they don't mean going internally. Many women don't know that they are swabbed rectally because it's not inserted, only wiped over the rectal area.

rachaeljacobson |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

I tested positive early in my pregnancy, I didnt not even know i was being tested. I was told its not something you "catch" or "give" like an STD. I just have it. I had no idea, no symptoms at all, Never a abnormal pap or even a UTI.

weener301 |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

I tested positive for gbs and my dr said that I am carrier. I have had a remarkably easy pregnancy and will have to be giving antibiotics when I go into labor. She also told me that they used to believe that once you had gbs you always had it, but what they have found is that you can have it with one pregnancy but not another. My hubby was more freaked out then anyone! :)

cheeseburger09 |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

doc said nothing about rectum what so what does it do to the baby could he be effected by it while in the whomb or just when about to be born thats really going to stres me out im only 32 weeks

bluebunny22 |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

It's not that big of a deal people! It's an external swab, no different that swabing your ear or outside edge of a nare. My midwife said that research shows that when women are instructed to do it themselves, they do a better job than when someone else does it for them. I believe the baby cannot be exposed to it until delivery, that is why they give you antibiotics (which in turn pass to the baby) right before/during delivery. The only thing that bugs me about it is that I didn't want to be hooked up to anything; I wasn't even planning on having an IV.

jen_jupiter |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

My girlfriend lost her firstborn baby 3 days after he was born because of this and she got the test and it tested negative! You can ask for the antibiotics and it won't hurt you or the baby but it could save the baby's life. I'm currently pregnant with twins and plan on forgoing the test and just insisting that they do the IV before delivery.

sweetie1680 |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

When I was pregnant with my 1st baby. I went into labor at 34 weeks and my baby died four and a half hours later or STREP B INFLAMATORY PNEUMONIA. I was told if I would have came early my baby would have lived. During my pregnancy my doctor continuously told me my baby and i were fine. I fely that something was not right starting from my 6th and a half month and confirmed the issue with my ob/gyn continously and got the same results. WHAT D YOU THINK!

naquithialeake |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

wow...im getting nervous! I lost my 2 yr old daughter to severe pheumonia in 2008 and im 34 weeks pregnant with another lil girl, I hope she doesn't get this infection :-(

lilRiley10 |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

They take a cotton swab and brush it up against your rectum a couple of times. Not a big deal at all ladies.

Ry2478 |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

i hadmine done just yesterday, maybe it was because i was nervouse but i so felt the swab go in my rectum. i didnt know what it was or why its done till i just read this article. turns out this site is educational and helpful.

jdarcy91 |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

I tested positive with my first and was treated with anotbiotics during labor. I tested negative with my second but choose to be treated again to be safe. I now that I am having my third I will be treated no matter what the results come back. I figure better to be safe. As far as the swabbing itself....I didn't even feel it. It is only an external swab.

tiggies069 |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

sweetie1680 - I don't think we need to freak everyone out with this. So sorry for your friends loss, but that is rare! Everyone should talk to their doctor about their own baby and the birth. What might be ok for you to take, might be dangerous and unnecessary for others. Don't stress girls, i isn't a bad test at all, something everyone has to experience just like the glucose test. Nothing to lose sleep over. Just pray for yourselves and your babies.

want2Bmommy |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

Just had mine done, and it was nothing. They simply take a q-tip and swab the outside of your vagina, and then just outside your butt. It's not like they shove it up there.

nauticalstar8 |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

I tested positive for the Strep B and was totally freaked out. thanks to you guys i understand everything.

sc103005 |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

Yes, rectum. At my last appointment (Thursday, I go weekly now) I had that test done. I had no idea when my doctor was getting her samples that's how painless this procedure is. Literally takes 2 seconds, you don't even know your doctor is doing it. In and out!

Campbell225 |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

i just tested positive for this, and will certainly get the little dose of antibiotics to ensure that my baby doesn't die from this! is there really any question? The swab and rectum issue is nothing.. As far as i know, nothing need actually "enter" your rectum! A swab is just a pass over the area.. it doesn't hurt at all, and you really shouldn't even feel anything bad or negative. I did it myself in the bathroom after testing for glucose. If you can put in a tampon you can do this without any effort at all. It was not invasive or yucky. I avoid antibiotics as a general rule, but when I heard that my little baby could become very sick from it, or even pass away, I didn't even think twice. Good luck to all!!

trobird |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

I had the swab done last week. Well my drs office swabs the inside of your vagina and the inside of your anus with a q-tip. I did tons of research to know what to expect and nothing said it would go inside my anus. All drs are different but I should have talked to friends instead of the internet b/c all of my friends have had it done the same way. I was totally tramautized b/c I was not expecting it to go inside my anus. No, it wasn't painful and it only lasted like 2 seconds but I felt it was terribly invasive and degrading. But I am painfully modest. Really has made me dread the whole childbirth process. Oh and I'm scheduled for a c-sec and they still did it. I think if I would have known they were going to swab the inside of my anus I wouldn't have been as upset. I can handle the inside of my vagina but ummm nothing goes inside my anus.

Anonymous2011 |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

My understanding is that Group B Strep (GBS) comes & goes and your diet influences it. Bacteria thrives on sugars so if you have a sugary diet, you may be more likely to carry GBS. I have read of women who tested positive for GBS at 36 weeks, then cut back on sugars, ate yogurt, or took probiotics, etc and tested negative at 38 weeks (they had to insist on being re-tested). Personally I do not want an IV becuase everything in that IV bag gets passed along to baby and I don't want him starting his life on antibiotics if at all possible since there are side effects. If we need antibiotics, our pediatrician said we should let him know and consider a course of probiotics once he's born. Oh, and I think a little swab in the vagina or anus should probably be the least of everyone's worries--birth is going to be a lot more invasive than that.

eram1 |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

When I was born in '93, I almost died because I had group B strep. They didn't test the mothers then, so after they found that I had it, they began testing in New Hampshire.

miahasthefunk |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

I had the test last week and honestly, it was so easy and I was so busy chatting away with the doc that I didn't realize it was even done! =) Compared to every other test I've had with this pregnancy, this was BY FAR the easiest! Turns out I'm positive, so I'll have an IV but if it means the baby will be protected, I'm totally cool with it!

MrsGurt |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

I agree with a couple of posts above! Im going to request I be given the antibiotics without the strep b test. It is degrading and it causes much unnecessary stress prior to birth. I want my birth plan to be a beautiful experience not a stressed out worry case! Give me the antibiotics so my little girl will not get it if I am in fact a carrier but stay away from my butthole! All you other woman who say it's no big deal, well good for y'all but it may be a big deal to other people. Have a little respect for both sides!

Amandad79 |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

I don't really mind getting teh test... The Midwife I am seeing gave me a full heads up on what will be done and why so better safe that sorry I guess.. I am hoping the test will come back negative so I don't have to have an IV.. I go in for it later today and just wanted to read up on others experiences cause I find that tends to help. Knowledge is power!!! I never even heard of this until my appt the other day so this is all pretty new to me and I am already 36 weeks! I can totally understand how some women would find the swab in the anus a little odd or disturbing, but all I can picture is how common it is to poo during delivery if you aren't all 'flushed' out and it makes it better ;)

jamielea27 |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

Do you know if this strep test has anything to do with cellulitis? My daughter has been dignoised with having dormant cellultis in her leg and has gone on antibotics out side the states. She has a strep in her leg. I think it might be related to why they give the strep test. Does anyone know if it is the same?

Lorraine Hull |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

I just had the test, and it's not as bad as it sounds. The doctor swabbed the vagina and then tilts it to also pick up from the rectum. I didn't even notice the tilt of the swab, and the entire procedure is over in about 4-7 seconds.

RACWLC |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

The hospital that I went to did this strep test on me. I was tested postive for strep. B. My daughter passed away inside of me. I wes never offered any treatments at all. I know abut the antibotics in the Iv, but it was too late. I am 9 weeks pregnant and I do not want the same thing to happen again. I told the daughters that I cannot go the whole 41 weeks. I just would like a healthy baby.

swoodson29 |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

For the people who are complaining about the anal swab, are you serious???!! First of all, it's really nothing at all, second of all, childbirth is A LOT more invasive, and third, you should be thankful you haven't had to have some of the more invasive rectal procedures like a colonoscopy! I mean, to even complain about such a minor test for a second is ludicrous. There are way more invasive tests out there, and some of them you will likely have at some point in your life! Seems a little childish to complain about something like that. Now all the women who look at this post will be freaked out for nothing.

lulurocha |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

I was just told I was positive for group b strep. I don't know if it's just in my mind, but now that they say this, I do have slight discomfort as though I had a mild yeast or bladder infection. Has anyone experienced this sensation? I'm 10 weeks.

stomei |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

I just had mine this morning and now when I urinate it hurts really bad and there is slight bleeding! Everyone told me that it should not hurt. The rectum part did not hurt at all but the vaginal did! I didn't know that they put it in your urethra.... that is my only thought on how it would hurt so bad and bleed.

a.markle |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

I just had mine done and it seriously hurt. Right after she was finished,I went to the bathroom only to find the urinating was painful and I bled for two days after. I never had the rectum one but it sure did hurt!!

Alli89123 |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

I was worried about this test and my first internal exam after reading all the message boards, and I went yesterday for the appoingtment and feel so silly now. Really the GBS test was nothing more that a quick vaginal swab with a q tip, no discomfort at all and took maybe 2 seconds. I don't know if it is because I am having a c section or not, but there was no rectal swab involved. I then had my first internal exam which I was warned hurt really bad, but I am happy to say that even though my doctor is a male with very large hands and I am not good with any type of pain, the internal was nothing at all. Took about 15 seconds total and no discomfort at all, just felt him feeling around is all. I hope everyone can have the same experience that I did, and I hope that my positive experience can relax the minds of some of the people that are headed towards the test or exam.

tdawson80 |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

I went for a check up yesterday and Im 32 weeks (measuring at 35 weeks) my midwife told me I tested positive for this and I didn't even know I had been tested. I'm nervous because I had never heard of this with my last pregnancy and I don't know what to expect she said at my next appt. in 2 weeks they will test again. And I don't understand I don't eat or drink anything sugary. I strictly drink water and milk, sometimes apple juice. And I have been having some irritation (down there) burning, itching, is this due to the fact that I have this Strep B or what? I thought it was a yeast infection and she said it wasn't so Im a bit nervous. Is there anything else I can do to make it (go away) I don't want there to be nothing wrong with my baby girl because if this.

ebaxter20 |

Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

You all are acting like they slip it in your rectum... lol, They take the swab and rub it down from the top of your vagina all the way down to the top of the anus. Put the sample in a bag. Takes about 2 seconds. I was very surprised because I had no idea what my doctor was doing. Because he just spread me- took the swab placed it to my skin, rubbed it all the way down to my butt, and I was like, WHOA... What are you doing down there. And he said, "all done"

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Q&A: What is the group B strep test?

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