How do I order a Strep B Test Kit?
- Just click here to order your free Group B Strep test kit. A fee is only payable if you choose to send the kit to the laboratory for testing (see below).
When should I take the Group B Strep test?
- The recommended time for taking the test is between 35 – 37 weeks of pregnancy This should give you time to get the results back before your little one arrives!
Can I take the test before 35 weeks?
- If you expect to give birth early (for instance if you are having twins), there is no problem taking the test earlier than 35 weeks. However, you would need to speak to your midwife. consultant to find out when the optimum time to do the test would be.
Can I take the test after 37 weeks?
- If you have only just found out about Strep B – don’t panic! There is no problem taking the test after 37 weeks. The only issue would be, getting your results back before you go into labour. If you want to speed things up, you can return the test back to the laboratory by Royal Mail Special Delivery rather than our freepost tracked label. However, this would be at your own cost. Please note – as the test is the ECM method it does need to be cultured, so the laboratory are limited on speeding the results process up.
How much do you charge for the Group B Strep test kit?
- There is absolutely NO CHARGE to receive this testing kit (which includes FREE return postage to the laboratory) and you are under NO OBLIGATION to take the test. This gives you a chance to read through the information in the pack and decided if taking the test is right for you – this is unlike some companies that make you pay for the test kit 🙁 The laboratory charge a fee of £37.50 to process the test, and all the details of how to make the payment are in the test pack.
How long will my kit take to arrive?
- Test kits are dispatched directly from the laboratory by Royal Mail First Class post. Orders received before 1pm (working days) will be dispatched the same day. Our GBS kit fits through your letterbox, so you do not need to be home to receive it.
My kit hasn’t arrived yet, what should I do?
- If you kit hasn’t arrived in five working days (or if you are worried about timing), just drop us an email and we’ll pop another one out to you. Or if you prefer, you can just reorder one here.
What’s in the Group B Strep Test Kit?
- Inside the test kit box there are two swabs, instructions for taking the swabs, a sample taking instruction sheet, and a payment form, which you complete and return at the time of sending your swabs to The Doctors Laboratory. It also contains a tracked return postage label and envelope. We have a detailed blog post here which outlines exactly what is in the kit.
What laboratory do you use?
- The kits are returned to the The Doctors Laboratory, London (a fully CPA accredited laboratory). The Doctors Laboratory (TDL) is a medically-led laboratory, established in 1987. It is the largest independent provider of clinical laboratory diagnostic services in the UK.
What do you mean by ‘Gold Standard’?
- The Enriched Culture Medium (ECM) as described by Public Health England, is recognised as being the ‘gold standard’ method for detecting GBS carriage, with swabs taken from the low vagina and rectum, which are then cultured using enriched culture media before being plated. You can read more about the different testing methods here.
How reliable is the ‘Gold Standard’ ECM test?
- The ECM test, recognised as the ‘gold standard’ for detecting GBS, is highly sensitive. Research has shown that, when the ECM test is properly performed within 5 weeks of delivery, a negative result was 96% predictive of not carrying GBS at delivery (4% of women acquired carriage between the test and giving birth) and a positive result was 87% predictive of carrying GBS at delivery (13% of women lost carriage between performing the test and giving birth).
How do I do the test?
- Full instructions on how to do the test yourself are in the kit and most women do this, without any problem. However, you may prefer to get your midwife or GP to take the samples (they may charge for this service).
When do I pay the laboratory fee and how much does it cost?
- You send payment to the laboratory when you send off your swabs. The inclusive charge for the Doctor’s Laboratory to review your test is £37.50.
I don’t have a cheque book or don’t want to send my card details for payment – are there any alternatives?
- Yes! This is not a problem. If you give the laboratory a call on 0207 307 7373 and they can discuss alternative payment methods with you.
How do I send my GBS samples to the laboratory?
- In the test kit there is a plastic medical returns envelope and a Royal Mail Tracked delivery label. Please keep a note of your tracking number, so you can check that the laboratory have received your test. The label is stuck on the return envelope and it can be popped into any postbox. There is NO postage to pay.
How and when will I get my results?
- When you complete the request form enclosed with the sample pack, you will see that there is an option to receive your result by SMS Text Message. The results are also sent in the post to both you and your medical professional (if you add their details). Turnaround time for your results is three to four working days of receipt of your swabs in the laboratory. The recommended time for sample taking is 35 – 37 weeks.
I haven’t received my results, can you help?
- If you are concerned that your results have not arrived or you want to check the laboratory has received your test, you can give them a call on 0207 307 7373. Please have your Royal Mail tracking number handy, if possible. Unfortunately, I only arrange for the tests to be dispatched, I don’t deal with testing, so I am unable to help directly and due to patient confidentiality I am unable to chase results on your behalf.
What happens if I’m GBS positive?
- Please tell your midwife/ consultant so this can be noted on your records. A GBS GREEN message means the result for GBS is NEGATIVE and intravenous antibiotics against GBS infection are not needed. A GBS RED message means the results for GBS is POSITIVE during your pregnancy and means that intravenous (not oral) antibiotics should be offered from the onset of labour or waters breaking, and then 4-Hourly until delivery. More information and advice is available from https://gbss.org.uk/.