Pinworms are tiny parasites that are pin-shaped and are found to reside in the human colons. Also known as threadworms because of their thread-like appearance, these worms can live up to six weeks. When you come in contact with the pinworm eggs from other persons or from objects or from contaminated surfaces and swallow them, you get pinworm infection.
Being infected with pinworms during pregnancy can be a very unpleasant experience for many women. This infection can last for many weeks and can get worse, if not detected early and taken necessary precautions to stop the spread.
Signs of Pinworm Infection
If the infection is in the early stages with less number of pinworms, you may experience mild symptoms or none at all. In case of moderate to severe infection, the symptoms can get worse. Once a person comes in contact with pinworm eggs, it takes about a month for the females in the intestinal area to mature and move towards the anal region to deposit the eggs. The eggs unlike the pinworms, are not visible to the naked eyes. A substance released while laying the eggs, causes itching sensation and this mostly takes place at night time. An infected person experiences different symptoms through the hatching, maturity and reproduction stages.
Some of the noticeable signs suggesting pinworm infection include
- Itchiness around the anal area, which is more prominent during night time
- Sleeplessness because of discomfort
- Pain in the abdomen
- Visibility of pinworms in poop
- Nauseous feeling, leading to aversion of food
- Loss of weight due to the absorption of nutrients by the pinworms
- Skin rash or other damage near the affected area
Diagnosis of Pinworm Infection
In pregnancy, if you suspect of being infected with pinworms, you don’t have to worry about diagnostic test being complicated. A tape test is generally recommended by the doctors to get it diagnosed. It is a simple process of applying cello tape onto the skin close to anal area. The microscopic eggs get stuck to the tape and will be examined by the lab technician under the microscope to confirm the issue. Since pinworms often move at night time to lay eggs, this test is better carried out in the morning, before showering for accurate determination.
Once confirmed, pregnant women are mostly advised to follow a strict personal hygiene to eradicate the issue. Medicines may cause side effects during pregnancy and so, personal care is important to reduce this infection. Since this is a contagious problem, every member in the household is also recommended to follow personal hygiene seriously. When all measures are taken care of, the pinworms clear away from the body and the surroundings on their own.