Lab Tests from the Genital Tract

Cultures for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia

Gonorrhea (GC) and Chlamydia are two organisms which may infect the genital tract. They are sexually transmitted disease…. a woman is infected by a sexual partner. Both gonorrhea and chlamydia can infect the cervix, and remain somewhat dormant throughout pregnancy.
When the baby is born, if the eyes are infected by gonorrhea or chlamydia, blindness can occur. To prevent this, a test for these organisms is usually done at the first prenatal visit. Also, babies’ eyes are treated with some type of antibiotic after they are born.

Group B Strep (GBS) cultures

Group B Streptococcus agalactiae is a relatively common bacteria which usually poses little to no health risk for healthy adults and children. However, GBS infection of the newborn can be a serious, life-threatening problem. Effective treatment is readily available, easy and cheap. However, complications may occur if there is a delay in diagnosis or concurrent problems which also influence a newborn’s health such as prematurity.

In 2002, the Center for Disease Control recommended routine screening for GBS on all pregnant women. If a woman carries the bacteria she should be given antibiotics during labor to prevent passage to the newborn. (see Group B Strep Infection).