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Small white worms in faeces: cause and treatment

  1. Small white worms in stool, what can you do about it? If you see small, moving white worms in stool, you will initially react with disgust. Yet an estimated 30 percent of children worldwide carry pinworms, usually without complaints. Pinworms can be recognized as thin white or pale yellow moving worms about 2 to 13 mm long. Pinworms are especially common in school children. Sometimes an infection with pinworms causes (peri) anal or vaginal itching, but generally no stomach pain. What can you do if you find white worms in your child's poo or in your own stool?

Little white worms in stool

  1. Worms in the body are parasites, that is, they can only survive in a host: animal or human. There are many types of worms, but pinworms are the most common in the Netherlands. You can become infected with this if you accidentally swallow worms or their eggs. The Latin name for pinworm is Enterobius vermicularis and an infection with this troublemaker is called enterobiasis

Life cycle of pinworm

  1. The parasitic cycle of the pinworm proceeds as follows. The adult females leave the colon (mainly) at night; they crawl out and migrate to the area of ​​the anus. After mating, a female worm can contain over 10,000 eggs. The females lay a large number of sticky eggs around the anus and perineum (that is the area between the anus and in women the vulva / vagina and in men the scrotum or scrotum). The infected child will scratch (whether or not in his or her sleep), with the eggs sticking to the fingers and under the nails

Symptoms of a worm infection in child or adult

  1. Some people with a worm infection do not experience any symptoms. However, you can see small, moving white or white-yellow pinworms in the stool. You may experience frequent and strong itching around the anus. Children may complain of itching in their poop hole, especially at night and in the morning. As a result of the itching, sleep can be disturbed, leading to sleep deprivation. You may experience pain, rash or other skin irritation around the anus. In general, an infection with pinworms is not associated with abdominal pain, at most some vague or mild abdominal pain


  1. Most people do not experience serious complications from an pinworm infection. If the infection is left untreated, an infection can sometimes cause a urinary tract infection in women. Pinworms can also travel from the anus into the vagina, affecting the uterus, fallopian tubes and other pelvic organs. Vaginitis, endometritis


  1. It is possible to eradicate an pinworm infection with medication and the recommended cleaning regimen. However, because pinworm eggs are invisible to the naked eye and highly contagious, re-infection can easily occur. A person can reinfect themselves or become reinfected by eggs from another person. If you experience recurring infections after taking care of your entire family and home, people and locations outside of your household may be the primary source of the infection.

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