What is a GBS swab? — The Bump
December 2011 Moms

What is a GBS swab?

I have had previously highly colonized GBS. I only know this because I have had 2 UTI's in my life caused from it but not for several years. They didn't test me during my last pregnancy because I just wanted the antibiotics but now I want to test and decline antibiotics if negative.

So is it a butt swab? Do I do it or does the midwife? And do you go up your butt or just a quick swipe?

Sorry if that is gross...

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Re: What is a GBS swab?

  • It's a swab around your vagina and anal area.  Usually the doctor does it.  It's just around the outside- it's not painful at all.

  • Some doctors have you do it, and some do it themselves.  There is no "entry".  Just a quick outside swab on the area between your vagina and butthole.
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  • My doctor does it around 36 weeks.  She does a vaginal and anal swab.  I don't think she really went into the butt, but a swipe.  Hmm...I don't remember.  It must be one of those pregnancy things I've blocked out.  I've only had it done in two of my three pregnancies because my first came before my appointment to get it done.
    Rachel <BR>
    Kylee 9/20/06 Elijah 10/13/07 Adleigh 12/9/09 Micah 12/17/11<BR>
  • I had mine done last week.  My OB did a swipe from my vag to my butt.  It took a total of 2 seconds, but uncomfortable when getting to the butt area.  I wasn't expecting that lol

    I have heard of some people whose OBs don't do the swab, they have the patient do it.  Some are done differently as well.  Like maybe only swabbing the vaginal area or only the butt area.  But I think the norm is just the swab from the vag to the anus and the OB usually does it for you.

  • She did it when I had an internal done since she's checking me early from PTL issues.  It was so quick I wouldn't have known she did it if she hadn't told me she was going to.
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  • I'm 95% sure my OB just swabbed my vag.  I want to say I would have definitely noticed if he swabbed my butt. 

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  • imageiluvmylab:
    It's a swab around your vagina and anal area.  Usually the doctor does it.  It's just around the outside- it's not painful at all.

    This. I had mine done this morning at my 36 weeks appt and it was cake compared to a pelvic exam! 

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    ...baby #3 boy MC at 10 weeks

  • My MW had me self-administer at my appointment this week, 37 weeks.  It was done at 37 weeks because the results are only good for 6 weeks & she wanted to have that little extra coverage if I went to 42 weeks or just after.  I had to swab both, um, entries but just a shallow quick swipe of each.
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  • Mine was just a vaginal swab that my doctor did on me. Quick and painless! Fortunately we got it done right in time, they got my results like 5 minutes before they sent me to L&D! If you're GB+ you have to get antibiotics during labor.

    Apparently at my hospital they hook all preterm mommies up to the antibiotics, but my doc said I didn't have to do that since I was negative and was already having to be hooked up to the mag sulfate. 

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  • The papers I got from my OB said it is just a vaginal swab they do at 36 weeks.
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  • My OB did it at my 35 week appt.  Just a swab around the vaginal area and one in the area between the vagina and anal area.  Quick and completely painless.  Not even uncomfortable
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  • I had my GBS swab done yesterday at my 36 week appt.  I was expecting it to be like a PAP, but it was just a swab of the outside vaginal, perineum, and anal area.  Not painful at all, and took probably 3 seconds!

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  • I had mine done today and I was swabbed inside the opening of my vagina and the perineum. 


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  • These answers made me feel WAY better- I was a bit freaked about getting it done next week:). 
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