Group B Streptococcus (group B strep, GBS) in Pregnancy

Group B Streptococcus (group B strep, GBS) is a bacteria that comes and goes from our bodies – often found in the reproductive tracts. GBS is NOT an infection, it is normal part of vaginal flora (bacteria that lives inside the vagina) and is not transmitted to partners.

Most people who have it don’t even know that they do (around 25-30% of women are positive for GBS) however it’s extremely important to be aware of GBS if you’re about to give birth (or undergoing gynaecological surgery).

In pregnant women, GBS can cause infection of the urinary tract, placenta, womb, and amniotic fluid. Babies can then be exposed to GBS during birth, and they might show signs such as: fever, feeding problems, breathing problems, irritability or fussiness, inactivity or limpness and/or trouble keeping a healthy body temperature. They may also develop serious problems such as pneumonia, sepsis or meningitis.

We test pregnant women for GBS 3-5 weeks before your due date using a painless swab collecting a sample from the vagina and rectum. If you do have GBS, you will require antibiotics during labour to stop the bacteria from entering the vagina again before you give birth.

Pick up a GBS FAQ sheet from POGS at your next visit to find out more.

To make an appointment with POGS, please call us on (08) 6270 0123 or email:

Posted in Birth, Pregnancy.

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