Originally Posted by kellybeth
they do the test at my doctor for every pregnant woman at 36 weeks. i'll have it done at my next appointment. it's not supposed to be a big deal test, they're just testing for a type of bacteria, so i haven't thought about it in the slightest. if you're overall healthy, it shouldn't be an issue. they give you a shot if you're positive.
They give you a "shot?" I've never heard of this, but am very interested if there is a new course of treatment out there!
My understanding is that it's a bacteria that we all basically have in our GI tracts, and is pretty harmless there, but that if your vagina is colonized, it can possibly be transmitted to baby during birth, and if so, it can possibly lead to death. It "comes and goes," thus your vagina could be colonized, then a few weeks later not, then a few weeks later, colonized again, so testing at 36 weeks gives a decent idea of whether you will be colonized at birth.
The treatments are usually either IV antibiotics (a couple rounds, I think, starting at least 6 hours before the baby comes through the vagina) or possibly IV abx for the baby if he/she comes too fast. The alternative is a hibiclens abx "wash" of the vulva area, which shows a lot of promise as well. If you test + OR have an unknown GBS status, your baby will be subject to more observation, especially if you don't get abx "in time." As mentioned above, there are things that may be helpful in reducing the likelihood you will test/be positive (garlic, etc.).
There are a lot of tests I have declined (haven't even had an u/s), but I am good with this one. Though it will be a minor pain (and I will take probiotics to balance out the abx load on my system), I am also good with the IV abx my HB MWs will give me if I'm positive. Because it would be just a couple of courses, I would mostly labor without an IV, and only have it in my heplock/saline lock for a couple times, something like 15 minutes each time.
It's one of those things that... though death from GBS is fairly rare, I personally feel the benefits of testing and treatment outweigh the risks or inconveniences. Especially with my care providers, who will not freak out about it. It is worth noting, however, that GBS testing is not standard in many places that have better infant/neonatal mortality rates than the US does (Europe, etc.)