Simple Pregnancy Test Saves Lives

July is Group B Strep Awareness month. Help us raise awareness for a simple test that helps save lives. 

Taking a look at the Group B Strep Support Website provides a detailed and informative resource for information on group B Strep. We’ve pulled some summary information together here to help spread the word.

What is Group B Strep?

“Carrying GBS is perfectly normal and natural. GBS bacteria are part of the normal gut flora in up to a third of people (men and women), and colonise the vagina in 20-25% of women. Carrying GBS is not associated with any health risks or symptoms to the carrier. GBS can be passed from one person to another through sexual activity, but it is not a sexually transmitted disease, and is also carried by people who have had no sexual contact’.

Group B Strep Support Website

Why is it important to know about in pregnancy?

“It’s good to know whether you carry GBS during pregnancy – it’s it’s been detected during your current pregnancy, you should be offered intravenous antibiotics in labour. These massively reduce the risk of your newborn baby developing a group B Strep infection. There are no symptoms of carrying GBS, so the only way to find out whether you are is through testing.

Intravenous antibiotics, given in labour to women who carry GBS late in pregnancy, have been shown to be highly effective at reducing the risk that a newborn baby will develop early-onset GBS infection (GBS infection developing in the first 6 days of life). They do not reduce late-onset GBS infection (developing from age 7 days and typically by age 3 months). Researchers around the world are working on developing a vaccine that will one day prevent almost all GBS infection in babies, but it’s not available yet”

Group B Strep Support Website

 How do I get Tested if my local NHS trust can’t offer the service?

“If your trust does not offer the Group B ECM test, it is available privately from around £35 per test for a home-testing pack.

The cost of the test pack, processing the swabs and sending you the results is approximately £35.

You can watch a YouTube video about self-testing here.

You can obtain your ECM GBS test pack by contacting the laboratories on the Group B support website