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Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: adult pinworm infection

 moo - Fri Feb 27, 2004 3:28 pm

i am a 31 year old female. as a child I had pinworm infections alot, I understand this is common.

however in the past 3 months I have had 2 pinworm infections. I live by myself, no kids, no contact with kids, or anyone really. I live in a small community and do not want to go to my own GP.

Is there a reason why I would get infections as an adult? I keep good hygiene, wear gloves if i garden or wash dishes, and wash my bed sheets often.

This is embarassing and worrying for me, I am waking at 4-5 am with horrific itching round my anus and vagina, and have evidence of live worms.

Please hlep me find an answer as to why i am suffering this childhood infection.
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:40 am

User avatar Dear moo,

Thank you very much for using our website.

Pinworm infections are sometimes really hard to get rif of because of the high rate of auto-infection (the person re-infecting his/herself). When you scratch the area around the anus and vagina, this is actually where the eggs of the worm are and these eggs are of course microscopic and you can not see them and then they are spread every where including the underclothes, the clothes, the bed sheets, the toilet seats, all utensils that you are using and then the person ingests the eggs once more and gets re-infected and the cycle continues.

Yes, it is mainly a disease of children but it affects adults as well. Infection occurs by ingesting the eggs. Best way to get rid of it, is to be treated and to be really vigilant about washing hands and all other items that you use so that you don't re-infect yourself once you are treated.

Do you think that this pinworm infection has anything to do with the severe abdominal pain that you experience every now and then???

Once more, thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.
 moo - Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:56 am

thank you doctor but i am very well aware of how pinworm eggs can be spread to caue re infection etc, and the necesity for hygeine, hand-washing, bedclothes, utensils etc

Therefore I don't feel you have answered my question at all.

WHY am I getting this in adulthood? I have not had it for over 15 years?

WHERE are they coming from. As I previsouly posted, I live alone and am not in contact with children or hardly with anyone else in order to transfer eggs. If they originate in the human body, does that mean I have never gotten rid of them since a child and maybe my immune system is low right now and they are growing??

I have been treated now several times but they reoccur. I have bleached my house and bedclothes, utensils etc from top to bottom.... this is very frustrating and embarrasing and I would like to know where they originate. As I am not in contact with others how do I get it?
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Mon Mar 15, 2004 12:16 pm

User avatar Dear moo,

Thank you very much for the update.

You get the infection by ingesting the eggs and you don't have to be infected through contact with a child or just a house hold contact.

Any body who has the infection can spread it and sometimes patients can be infected and don't have any symptoms so they could be spreading the infection without knowing that they are sick, so you could have a work colleague who is infected and doesn't know or you could have been infected from eating in a restaurant where the one of the personel is infected, etc...

About whether you haven't gotten rid of them for 15 years and now you have a re-activation of the infection, i think that this is a remote possibilty.

You have to be treated repeatidely till you are cured.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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