Group B Strep When Trying to Conceive

I was recently diagnosed with beta strep. I am trying to conceive. Will this be cleared up so it won't hurt my baby?

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Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

It makes sense to most women that if they have an infection, especially one that has potential to hurt a baby, that it should be treated and cured.

The reality, however, is that beta strep is a very difficult organism to eradicate. Most women, once treated with penicillin or any antibiotic, will become recolonized within a few months. We don't know exactly why, but sexual partners can transmit the bacterium back and forth. Even if both partners are treated, recurrence rates are still high.

Some experts believe that it is too costly and exposes too many women to antibiotic therapy to treat everyone with a positive culture for beta strep, even pregnant women. They prefer to wait until labor, when the antibiotics will get to the baby at the time the baby needs it to fight off the infection. It does not seem to affect the baby while still in utero.

More information on beta strep can be found on Medscape and also at the CDC web site. Medscape requires registration, but it is free and easy to do.

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