When I was 36 weeks pregnant, I took a Strepelle test to find out if I was a carrier of Group B Streptococcus (more commonly known as Group B Strep or GBS). I didn’t even realise that Group B Strep was a ‘thing’ until I was sent this home testing kit to try out.
Apparently, one in five of all pregnant women are carriers of Group B Strep in the birth canal. The bacterium can be passed on to the baby during labour. Of those babies infected, one in five newborns suffer from serious illnesses such as meningitis, pneumonia or scepticaemia as as a result of Group B Strep. One in ten of those babies infected will die from it. Yet Group B Strep isn’t routinely tested for in the UK.
Strepelle is a Group B Strep home testing kit, which retails at £39.99. It can be used at any time after the 35th week of pregnancy. You simply swab a couple of intimate areas and send off the swabs to the lab in the pre-paid envelope provided. Strepelle then contact you within three days of receipt of your sample at the lab, to let you know the result.
If the test comes back positive, all you need to do is let your midwife know and they will arrange for antibiotics to be administered intravenously during labour.
I found the Strepelle testing kit really easy to administer. It took maybe five minutes to read the instructions carefully, and another five to take the test. Then I popped the package in the post box and waited for a few days to receive the results, which arrived promptly via text message as I had requested. Fortunately, I tested negative for Strep B so didn’t need to take any further action. It was great having that peace of mind; one less thing to worry about in the long list of worrying things when you’re expecting a baby!
Disclosure: I was sent a Strepelle testing kit free of charge. However, this is my honest opinion.