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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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How is strep infection treated during pregnancy?

Hi there i have been told i have group b strep and i am 19 weeks pregnant. they have given me penicillin to take but i read online that it doesnt work and that if i have it nearer the time of birth they give u iv antibiotics when ur in labour to prevent baby from getting it is this all true?
Tue, 2 Feb 2016
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hi,
Thanks for posting in HCM.
I understand your concern.
Group B streptococcus (GBS) is a type of bacterial infection that can be found in a pregnant woman’s vagina or rectum. This bacteria is normally found in the vagina and/or rectum in about 25% of all healthy adult women.
However, women who test positive for GBS are said to be colonized. There is a risk that mother can pass GBS to her baby during delivery. Not every baby who is born to a mother who tests positive for GBS is known to become ill.
Expectant mothers who are tested positive for needs to be treated with antibiotics when they go into labour or if their membranes rupture early.
In case the mother is not tested but is thought to be at high risk for passing the bacteria on to her baby during the birth process, she will also be treated with antibiotics to kill the bacteria during her labour.
To help protect their babies from infection, pregnant women who test positive for group B strep in the current pregnancy should receive antibiotics through the vein (IV) during labor.
Penicillin is the most common antibiotic that is given since it is very safe and effective in preventing group B strep disease in newborns. For women who are allergic to penicillin, there are other antibiotics that can be given.
This problem can be tackled and hence you need not worry. Kindly keep your antenatal check-ups up to date and consult Gynecologist for appropriate management when necessary.
Hope the information provided would be helpful.
All the best.
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