If you follow me on instagram, then you may keep an eye on my insta-story highlights? In which case, you’ll see a highlight about Strepelle, a brand I’ve collaborated with during this pregnancy, to help raise awareness of the importance of testing for Group Strep B.
What is Group Strep B?
I’m no doctor and there’s no point in me trying to explain what Group Strep B is, when there’s far more legitimate and expert resources online like this one from the NHS, that’ll tell you all about it. But in essence, it’s a bacteria that can be carried by a woman, in their rectum or vagina and often not cause an issue, but can do when you’re pregnant and if it’s transferred to the baby during birth. Although risks are low, they are there and can be serious and potentially fatal for the baby.
Group Strep B isn’t routinely screened for during pregnancy and therefore testing for Group Strep B is something that a lot of parents-to-be are not made aware of. This is an issue I’m trying to help raise awareness of as it seems sensible to be aware of potential risks and dangers that can easily be identified and in the case of Group Strep B, if it’s present, it can be treated with anti-biotics very easily.
I personally couldn’t believe it when I heard that risks can be serious, but it’s not something the NHS screen for as part of the routine antenatal appointments.
Testing for Group Strep B
BUT, testing for Group Strep B can actually be done yourself, from the comfort of your own home and using the post. It’s so simple and after 35 weeks of pregnancy, is a great way of potentially identifying a risk of being a carrier of the bacteria.
Home testing kits like the one I used by Strepelle are inexpensive at around £40 and so easy to use. The kit has everything you need: 2 swabs (1 you take from just inside your vagina and the other from just inside your rectum) that you seal off in a special container, add a unique sticker/reference number to and post back FREE OF CHARGE to the laboratory. You’ll receive your results within 48 hours via email or text (or both), which will tell you if your test is negative or positive. If it’s positive, it’s great that you’ve identified a potential risk and can then follow-up with your GP and midwives.
My home test and results
I waited until 36 weeks of pregnancy to do my home test and it genuinely took me 2 mins – the swab is easy (nothing like a smear or internal examination that you’ll have during pregnancy/labour), the instructions are clear and it’s all sealed-off discreetly in a pre-prepared bag that you just pop in the post.
TIP: do the test on a weekday morning when you can pop it straight in the post the same day. You don’t want to leave the swabs hanging around for too long!
I posted mine and had a text message and email 2 days later to say my results were negative. A great peace of mind.
I would highly recommend looking into testing for Group Strep B as, it’s just 1 risk that you can be conscious of. And what’s more, you don’t even have to leave the house – you can order your Strepelle home testing kit online!