Pregnancy: When to Treat Group B Strep

I'm scheduled for the Group B Strep test at about 24 weeks. If I test positive, my doctor plans to wait until labor to treat me with antibiotics because of the high recurrence rate. Does this sound like appropriate treatment?

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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

Your physician is following the recommendations of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as well as the Centers for Disease Control. The recommendations come from the many studies showing that labor is the best time to treat the baby and mother. When mothers are treated during pregnancy, they may be exposed to penicillin-resistant strains of other bacteria, and the recurrence rate is high.

From an individual viewpoint, many women want to be treated. It is controversial, but some physicians will do it. Whether or not Group B strep causes preterm labor and premature rupture of the membranes is questionable and needs further research.

Your local infectious-disease officer at your state department of health can be of help here, too.

Good luck.

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