What is group b streptococcus?

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a bacterial infection that can be found in a woman's rectum or vagina. During childbirth, GBS can be passed on to infants, and is the most common cause of serious and often life-threatening infections in babies after birth in Ireland. One of these infections is meningitis in babies up to three months old.

Through the correct administration of antibiotics, the passing of infection from mother to baby in childbirth can be prevented. These antibiotics should be given intravenously, as oral antibiotics have been found to be much less effective. However, these antibiotics are only given once it is known that the mother has an infection, and GBS may not be routinely tested for Ireland.

Is this GBS test accurate?

Our GBS test should be taken no more than five weeks before birth, since this is when the test is 96% predictive of the mother having an infection at the time of birth. This means that after the test was completed, 4% of infections are acquired. In the time between testing and childbirth, around 13% of infections will have been cleared.

When will I get my GBS test results?

Usually, you will receive your GBS test results after three working days from your sample's arrival at our laboratory. You can access your results by logging into the secure patient area of our website.

What happens if my GBS test is positive?

If your test results are positive, you should immediately inform your midwife. Your midwife will be able to advise you on the next steps to take, as well as any changes they will want to make to your birth plan.

Is testing for GBS with Better2Know confidential?

Yes. Your test results and personal details are 100% confidential. Better2Know will not inform your GP, or anyone else without your permission.

When should I have my GBS test?

You should wait until the last five weeks of your pregnancy before you have your GBS test.

Book your GBS test now

Please call Better2Know on the number above to book your GBS test. A member of our Patient Services Team will process your booking and answer any questions you have.