For most pregnant women, the diagnosis first is a huge shock: streptococci! Harm the baby? perhaps even threatening a premature baby? To panic, there is no reason. The bacteria cause usually no problems - and they can be treated well.

Streptococcus B can make you sick

belly pregnant

Photo: © kaczka

Streptococci are the most widespread bacteria on the skin and in the gut. They are usually successfully fought by the body's defenses. In the vaginal and genital area are found mainly group B streptococcus - around 20 to 30 percent of all pregnant women are colonized with these bacteria. There, they can cause urinary tract infections, endometriosis or wound healing disorders as, of which only very few women are affected.

B streptococci endanger premature babies

So all quite harmless? Not quite, warns the chief physician of the Department of Gynecology at the Helios-Klinikum in Erfurt Udo B. Hoyme: "B-Strepktokken can be cross dangerous especially for premature babies because they can cause sepsis with them (blood poisoning), which can even be fatal ," And even if their risk is lower: Even with newborns streptococci can be threatening. The pathogens invade the body of the children and infect it without the immune system can resist it. Because the bacteria are spread via the blood throughout the body, the organs are quickly affected by it - at worst threatening septic shock. Feared is also the meningitis that can trigger the B Strepktokokken.

Strep test makes sense only from the 35th week

About one in 2,000 newborns infected during birth or after. Experts distinguish between an early form within three days of birth and late of the 7th to the 90th day of life. Because above all, the course of early infection can be dramatic and lead to death within hours of the baby, recommends the German Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics, that expectant mothers get tested between the 35th and the 37th week of pregnancy on streptococci. For this purpose only a straightforward smear is necessary. to get tested earlier, is not particularly useful: The bacteria can occur during pregnancy and go back - who has a positive test at 20 weeks, it can to birth long again be rid test whose no findings remains, can be two weeks later settled long ago.

From putting things in test on a short-term solution in the hospital, an expert advises against Hoyme. The many rapid tests that there is on the market would, usually do not work well and to smear after a culture is created, could pass too much time under certain circumstances.

B streptococci: Treatment with antibiotics at birth

It is found in smear gynecologist that the pregnant woman is colonized with group B streptococci, which is registered in the mother's passport. "So you are informed at the hospital"Explains expert Hoyme, "and can be administered by women in labor has started or after the bursting of the amniotic sac antibiotics."

Earlier treatment'm usually not make sense - unless the woman was heading towards a premature birth to. "Because the bacteria are so dangerous for premature babies, you will in this case also administer an antibiotic before birth. As a rule, penicillin is used. After birth, the pediatrician will decide whether further treatment is needed: Should show signs of infection, the child, it will immediately receive antibiotics. Mother and child healthy and fit, no further treatment is necessary.

Health insurance companies no cost to the test

Although the medical societies recommend the strep test during pregnancy, the cost will be for not covered by health insurance. For testing and counseling, most gynecologists 20-30 Euro demand. Protect gives some protection against the bacteria by the way not - ways of preventing pregnant women do not exist.