Strep B Test

What is a Strep B Test?

A strep B test is a laboratory test used to detect the presence of Streptococcus agalactiae bacteria, commonly known as Group B Streptococcus (GBS) or Group B Strep, in an individual’s body. Group B Streptococcus is a common type of bacteria that’s found in the digestive tract, lower genital tract or rectum.

Types of Strep B Tests

There are two main types of strep B tests available: A rapid-screening test and a culture test. The rapid-screening test involves a swab of the lower genital tract or rectum and can give results in minutes. The culture test involves a swab of the area and a laboratory analysis of the sample and is the most accurate of the two tests.

Preparation for a Strep B Test

No special preparation is required for a strep B test. Before the test, make sure to tell your doctor or midwife if you are allergic to any medications or if you are taking any medications that may affect the results.

Procedure for Strep B Test

When it comes time for the test, a swab will be inserted gently into the lower genital tract or rectum. The swab will then be sent to a laboratory for analysis. Depending on the test type, results can take anywhere from minutes to several days to be available.

Risks of a Strep B Test

The risks associated with a strep B test are very low. The test is minimally invasive and the swab is very gentle. There is an increased risk of infection if the swab is not done properly, so make sure to follow all the instructions given by your healthcare provider.

Why Is a Strep B Test Done?

A strep B test is done to detect the presence of group B Streptococcus bacteria in an individual’s body. This bacteria can cause serious complications for newborns, including sepsis, meningitis, and pneumonia, so it’s important to identify Group B Strep before delivery to make sure the baby is protected.

When Is a Strep B Test Done?

A strep B test is usually done between weeks 35 and 37 of pregnancy. However, it may be done earlier if the healthcare provider determines that a mother is at a higher risk of GBS infection. It can also be done if an individual is experiencing symptoms associated with a GBS infection.