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Info on Group B Strep Please!

I just recently got diagnosed with Group B Step. I'd really like to know more about it. From what I've been looking up it mostly effects pregnant women and newborns, I don't fall under either of those catagories. My doctor said that it most likely happend from having sex with my (monogomous)partner. He's been away, at war, for about 10 months and when he came home we obviously were trying to make up for lost time in the sex department. About two weeks from the time we started having sex again I started to get symtoms similar to that of a yeast infection. (which I sometimes get) I noticed though that the symptoms were stlightly different, which concerned me, usually when I get yeast infections, I'll have some discharge with minimal itching. This time there was little discharge and the itching was through the roof. So, I went to the doctor and they tested me for a bunch of different STDs and baterial infections as well. I didn't have any STDs and she said that this GBS isn't serious and she put me on a antibiotic supository.I'd like to know more about GBS.  I know that it can go back and forth between two people from having sex. I realize it's not the same thing as when you have strep throat, but is it possible that because my boyfriend was sick while preforming oral sex on me I got this GBS? Or, is this strictly a genital thing. Also I know it can effect the anal area too, which I think it may have, will that be cleared up with the antibiotic supository that she put me on? Is this likely to come back again? Are there things I can do to prevent this from happening?
59 Responses
154929 tn?1196191338
if they think it was caught from your BF-I would also have him treated with antibiotics that way it will not pass back to you from sex again--usually GBS i snot serious--most of the time it is not even checked for on a regular pap--they are usually only cocerned when you are pg---
Avatar universal
Group b strep is a part of the natural flora in your vagina.  When you are sick or stressed it can multiply and sort of take over.  There are not usually any symptoms involved.  A few may run a low grade fever.  But it is true that you really do not have to worry much about it unless you are pregnant.  There are special precautions that a dr takes to prevent a respiratory infection from an exposed infant.  They give you antibiotics during labor and usually don't let you go over 12 hours with your water broke before delivery.  They will observe the infant extra close for fever and/or breathing difficulties from the gbs.  Otherwise, don't worry.  It is very common.
Avatar universal
It is extremely difficult to find information about group b strep infections in adults because, although colonization is common, infections are less so in adults under the age of 60. It is believed that other conditions affecting your immune system, such as diabetes, cancer, vascular disease, HIV, or other infections can allow GBS to grow out of control and lead to more serious health issues.

My best advice is to find a doctor who is willing to think creatively about your problem and not just repeatedly put you on the same antibiotic time after time. It is quite likely that whatever underlying condition allowed the gbs to go out of control in the first place will also keep it from clearing up easily.
Avatar universal
First of all - I'm happy that you have your partner back!  Do not leap to conclusions that this is some sort of sexually transmitted disease.  I saw a man with urethritis who told me, "Chlamydia?  You're saying I should go home and shoot my wife!"  I have never heard of Group B Strep referred to that way, for what it's worth.  If it can be transmitted, it is likely to be transmitted with other STDs such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, etc... so if all these checked out negative then there's no reason to be suspicious of your mate.

If GBS was cultured from a swab, it is most likely benign vaginal flora.  That is, something else is probably causing your vaginal inflammation.

I'm interested in whether you and your partner were trying a new type of condom, diaphragm, lubricant oil, sex toy, or anything else that came in contact with your vaginal vault in the area that you are describing -- then you might have had an allergic reaction locally to this.  (In which case, obviously, antibiotics wouldn't help you.)  It could also be caused simply by abrasion (if you and your partner were having "rough" sex or repeatedly throughout the day.)  Your doctor should have been but may not have been comfortable discussing all this with you.  Sexual education is lacking even in medical school.  Thus it is best to be forthright and voluntary about all this with your physician when relevant to your problem.  Few physicians would judge such a statement (and you don't want to have those people as physicians, anyway).

That said, what the others said above is true.  Many stresses, etc etc can depress our immune systems quite a bit -- which can cause bacterial overgrowth and disease.

Estrogen levels can cause funny things to happen not only in your vagina but also in the uterus and elsewhere.  If you were bleeding in that area or have noticed infertility, increased facial hair, pronounced Adam's apple, or deepening voice, then it is important to see your primary physician again for referral to an endocrinologist.  Again, this is usually associated with pain and bleeding during intercourse and not itching -- but it's worth mentioning simply because it would be a shame to miss it.

The reason it's important to distinguish is that inflammation of a non-infectious cause could probably better be treated with immune depressants locally such as a topical steroid like a stronger cortisone cream.  Estrogen deficiency would require a more formal and extended evaluation.

These are just things that would be on my differential diagnosis.  I wouldn't be too hung up on Strep B, which would be relatively low on my list.  Anywhere from 10-50% of women have perfectly benign (until pregnancy) vaginal colonization by Strep B.  IF YOU GET PREGNANT -- it is VERY important for you to let your OB/Gyn know that you are Strep B positive.  Most hospitals and private OB's have Strep B screening as standard of care, but I'm sure there are some that still do not routinely screen.  Your OB/Gyn will tell you what to expect and how to prepare for delivery.

Avatar universal
From seeing some of the answers posted here, I see that some of these folks have never had a group b strep infection which is completely different than being colonized. A group b strep infection is so much worse than a yeast infection, and not just in the level of itchiness.

Group b strep is not technically considered to be a sexual transmitted disease. However, it can be transmitted sexually via intercourse, oral sex, and even just transfer from fingering by someone who hasn't washed their hands very well as GBS can live on the skin or under the nails. So your husband, who was in the service could have picked it up from the close quarters and less than hygienic conditions I can only imagine are present in the military, and then passed it along to you via more personal contact.

The problem with GBS infections is that they can be difficult to cure. You could have some underlying condition that makes it difficult for your body to keep it in check on its own, otherwise exposure to it would simply make you colonized vs. infected.

If your colonized partner is not treated at the same time as you are treated, yes, you can be reinfected. The best case scenario would be that both of you are treated and both of you are clear of GBS after the first treatment. However, if the infection recurs, you could be looking at a very difficult struggle with doctors who have no idea how to treat a recurring infection in a non-pregnant adult as it is rare, less than 1 in 100,000 cases! And it can recur even if you had no additional contact with someone who is colonized simply because the initial infection wasn't cleared completely. It may take a few weeks for the overgrowth to return to the point that it causes symptoms again.

If the infection does recur, repeated treatments with antibiotics can also have serious problems. It can cause colitis or a gastrointestinal infection with the bacteria C difficile which can cause persistent watery diarrhea up to 10 times a day. You can develop an allergic reaction to the antibiotics which can damage your lymphatic system, heart and even your brain. And the strain you are carrying can develop antibiotic resistance making it even more difficult to cure.

If treatment doesn't work, a group b strep infection can progress to a bladder infection even if you no longer have vaginal symptoms and possibly cause kidney damage.  And worst case scenario, it can get into your blood stream, known as sepsis, and can cause meningitis, heart infections and even be fatal. So if anyone says don't worry about it, it's just your normal flora being out of whack, get a second opinion. Get vaginal swabs taken and get your urine analyzed until you are sure that it is gone! And not just the week after you finish the antibiotics, but again a few weeks later after it has had a chance to "grow back".

All of that said, if you are a healthy adult, you should be able to fight it off. But you may have a difficult time finding a doctor who is willing to take the time to help you solve the mystery, know what tests to order, and when. And don't forget to look for any underlying conditions that might be affecting your immune system including diabetes, cancer, vascular issues, hormone imbalances, and HIV.

Best of luck to anyone who does have to deal with a recurrent infection.
Avatar universal
Ok Group Strep B is present in the gential tracts in 40 percent of women so it's not that rare! Here is what I did to help cure it. It's hard to elimate Strep B, but with supplements you can make the environment it lives in hostile, This is what I did.

Ok I too am someone who has Group Strep B and is NOT pregnant. I believed it started after I overused antibiotics like Diflucan and Flagyl to help with horrible itching I was having in the feminine area (vaginitis).

When the itching finally stopped after 5 Diflucan, I was left with yellow discharge and a diagnosis or Group Strep B from my gyno. I had changed the PH balance of my feminine area and that is what make Strep B overgrow.

The gyno tried to give me Boric Acid Suppositories in hopes of changing my PH but that didn't work. Penicillin helped but still a yellow discharge was there. Finally I did alot of internet research and tried this! It worked! White clear discharge and maybe one yellow dot at times but clearing 110 percent better. Read on

Take two tablets twice a day unless stated below- All can be found in the healthfood store.

Bee Propolis
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Super Echinacea
PH-Basic (plant caplet to regulate PH- 5 a day)
Vitamin C (1000mg) - might be one tablet
Colloidal Silver (only once a day)

This worked for me within HOURS. This is the first time I haven't had to wear a pantyliner in 6 months! I had great results with this, hope it helps. Btw other people have also tried Garlic clovers or capsules added to this list with success, but I didnt.

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