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A woman’s body goes undergoes many bodily changes during pregnancy. But not all these changes would be good. Sometimes, you may experience an itching sensation in your vaginal or rectal area, usually around night time or so. Random itching could indicate an irritation of sorts but if this happens regularly, then you may be suffering from a pinworm infection. Not many are aware of a pinworm infection and its effect on pregnancy and the growing baby. However, if you look for the right signs that indicate its presence will help you take the appropriate steps to keep the infection in check and to treat it completely.
What Are Pinworms?
Pinworms are the parasitic worms thriving by staying inside the large intestine of a human being. There are both male and female variants of it. The itching that women observe in the vaginal region is a result of the female pinworm emerging out of the anus and laying eggs near the vagina for more pinworms to hatch.
Are Pinworms Common during Pregnancy?
It is not the pregnancy that causes the presence of pinworms but their presence around the household. Pinworms can spread rather effectively from one person to another and if someone does have pinworms, there is a chance others could have it as well. Pregnancy might bring well-wishers to your home, some of whom might have pinworms and leave them in your house due to poor hygiene practices.
Causes of Pinworm Infection during Pregnancy
Pinworms are primarily present only in the genital areas and the anal region. So, the infection tends to spread only when bad hygiene results in their transfer to other places.
- Soap is not self-cleaning as one might assume and if many people tend to use the same soap, then a person washing his pinworm infected hands could transfer them to the soap, which spreads to everyone using it.
- Clothes, particularly undergarments, can house the pinworms in them, which can transfer to other clothes as well.
- Carpets or bedsheets can be a ground for pinworms to travel from one person to another lying in close proximity to each other.
- Using common towels is a problem as well since an infected person using it to wipe himself clean could leave pinworms or their eggs on it, which may get transferred to another person.
Signs and Symptoms of Pinworms
There are a few strong signs of pinworm infection in a person, which are as follows:
- An itching around the anus or the vaginal area, especially at night.
- Spotting pinworms in the poop.
- Disturbance of sleep due to itching or pain in the abdomen.
- A feeling of nausea accompanied by a loss of appetite.
- Substantial weight loss in a person since pinworms take all the nutrition.
Does a Pinworm Infection Affect the Unborn Baby?
For new mothers worrying about a pinworm infection causing pregnancy complications, you can put your minds to rest since the presence of pinworms doesn’t affect the baby in any way. They stay restricted to the intestinal region and only cause discomfort and itching to the mother. This is also why doctors usually stay away from giving any medicine for it to a pregnant woman and suggest using better hygiene practices instead.
How Is a Pinworm Infection Treated when Pregnant?
There are certain home remedies for pinworms during pregnancy that a woman can opt for, and also a few medicines that a doctor might recommend, should the infection get severe.
Do not begin to use medications to treat pinworms by yourself without the recommendation of a doctor. In times of a pinworm infection, medications are usually suggested for all family members in order to prevent any other person from spreading it again. A primary dose of albendazole, mebendazole and pyrantel pamoate is suggested as the first attack. This takes care of most worms. After a couple of weeks, a repeat dose is given to take care of any worms that might have survived or freshly hatched. However, these medicines should be given when approved by the doctor.
A pinworm infection is better treated with medicines as compared to home remedies, since these can take a long time to be effective, but are comparatively safe in pregnancy. Some people might suggest using wormwood to kill intestinal worms, which is quite effective, but entirely unsafe for a pregnant woman. Instead, opting for a few garlic, cloves and consuming it with vegetables or salads, can be a good starting point to reduce the pinworms from causing any discomfort.
Precautions Expecting Mothers Should Take
Treatment can effectively put an end to pinworms maintaining hygiene can keep them away from you in the first place.
- Clean your toothbrush after every use and keep it in a closed space.
- Clean your house regularly and avoid having meals in bedrooms.
- Choose an underwear that fits you snugly and change it at least two times in a day.
- Use hot water to wash your clothes with some disinfectant.
- Avoid scratching your anal area constantly.
- Stay away from public toilets.
- Cut your nails regularly to avoid infections from staying there.
- Keep your hands clean by washing them as frequently as possible.
Presence of pinworms or threadworms in pregnancy can be quite alarming and irritating for women. But it does not pose any risk for the baby. Home remedies can help you get temporary relief and you can treat them effectively once and for all after you deliver your child.
Also Read: Yeast Infection in Pregnancy