Did you know that July is Group B Strep Awareness Month!?!
What is Group B Strep?
Group B strep (streptococcus) is a common bacterium often carried in the intestines or lower genital tract. The bacterium is usually harmless in healthy adults. In newborns, however, it can cause a serious illness known as group B strep disease.
Group B strep can also cause dangerous infections in adults with certain chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or liver disease. Older adults are at increased risk of illness due to group B strep, too.
OMG! What do we do!?!
If you're a healthy adult, there's nothing you need to do about group B strep. If you're pregnant, get a group B strep screening test during your third trimester. If you have group B strep, antibiotic treatment during labor can protect your baby.
New research regularly highlights the importance of a healthy vaginal and gut microbiome in preventing vaginal infections and the potential impact of specific vaginal microorganisms on Group B Streptococcus (GBS) colonization. During pregnancy, the use of oral probiotics is being explored to support women's vaginal health. Certain species of Lactobacillus, such as Lactobacillus reuteri and Lactobacillus rhamnosis, have shown benefits in promoting a healthy vaginal and bladder flora. Other strains like L. crispatus and L. salivarius have been found to inhibit the growth of vaginal pathogens like Gardnerella vaginalis and Candida albicans. Additionally, these probiotics have the potential to reduce the frequency of bladder and vaginal infections, including yeast infections. A recent study in 2020 revealed a connection between the presence of Candida albicans in the vagina and increased colonization of Group B Streptococcus in the bladder.
Ask your midwife about probiotics on your next visit!