Like many bacteria, GBS may be passed from one person to another through skin-to-skin contact, for example, hand contact, kissing, close physical contact, etc. As GBS is often found in the vagina and rectum of colonised women, it can be passed through sexual contact.
There are no known harmful effects of carriage itself and the GBS bacteria do not cause genital symptoms or discomfort. GBS carriage is not a sexually transmitted disease, nor is GBS carriage a sign of ill health or poor hygiene.
No-one should ever feel guilty or dirty for carrying GBS – it’s normal. Around 20-40% of women carry GBS.
GBS may be passed from one person to another by skin-to-skin contact. Everyone (regardless of whether they know they carry GBS) should wash their hands properly and dry them properly before handling a newborn baby.