Pregnancy / Childbirth

Vaginal culture in pregnancy - a test worth doing

Vaginal culture in pregnancy - a test worth doing


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Culture is a popular microbiological test that allows you to see what microbes live at the site of the test. During pregnancy, vaginal culture is performed, which allows detection of pathogenic bacteria, viruses or fungi in the birth canal. A few weeks before the solution in this way it is checked whether the woman is a carrier of group B streptococci. This is important because it allows for a quick response and effective treatment.

Vaginal culture - why is it so important?

Bacteria and viruses living in the birth canal are usually not dangerous for the future mother. However, they pose a risk to the growing child. They can lead to intrauterine infection in pregnancy and end in premature delivery. After delivery, however, there is a risk of transmitting a dangerous pathogen to the newborn, which can cause a life-threatening infection.

Vaginal culture and group B streptococci

Group B streptococci, Streptococcus agalactiaeare very common. Unfortunately, they are a threat during pregnancy. There is a risk that:

  • inflammation of the membranes will develop,
  • there will be premature rupture of the membranes and premature delivery,
  • if the infection occurs during delivery, the baby may develop pneumonia and sepsis.

Group B streptococci are bacteria that normally live in the anal area and can easily be transferred to the intimate area due to their close proximity. During preventive examinations, which are optional but recommended during pregnancy, they are detected in 10-30% of future mothers.

When is it worth performing vaginal culture in pregnancy?

Vaginal culture in pregnancy is recommended between 35 and 37 weeks of pregnancy. At this time, screening is performed.

The examination may also be ordered at other times if the pregnant woman develops vaginal inflammation.

What does the study look like?

Vaginal culture is collected by a doctor or nurse. Two swabs from the vaginal vestibule and another from the anal area are taken for examination. The samples taken are placed on a specified medium and sent to the laboratory where they are tested. You usually have to wait about 5 days for the results.

If the result is positive, there is no need to wring your hands. It is worth keeping calm, having the test result next to you and taking it to the hospital for childbirth, when intravenous antibiotic therapy, usually from the penicillin group, will be ordered, which will protect the nascent child from infection.



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