Long term threadworms - I think I have found a solution

Posted , 91 users are following.

6 months ago I suddenly realised that my children and I were infested with threadworms and had been for at least a year prior to that. It has caused me intermittent, unexplained diarrhoea attacks and obviously itchiness. I had put the latter down to thrush as I obviously had them in my vagina. I also had unbearable itching at the top of my bottom (near the small of my back).

This has been so distressing, and the information I have found on the internet has been frustratingly simplistic and unhelpful, occasionally alarmist and contradictory. The most irritating advice is from people quoting the leaflets in the Ovex packets. Here is my experience, which I hope adds information that is genuinely helpful and also new to the war against threadworms.

I did all the right things - Ovex, cleaning, children trained not to scratch, scrub nails and wash bottoms in the morning. It would clear up in the children then come back and I treated them a few times over a couple of months. I would say that now they are free of infestation.

BUT, despite spending the best part of £100 on Ovex (Ha! That's why the drug companies don't find a permanent solution!!), I personally just could not shift them. I was absolutely scrupulous in NEVER touching my bare bum, keeping up the cleaning regime, etc. The Ovex just DID NOT WORK. I still found worms in the days following treatment and there was no let up. I took Ovex daily for 5 days, with no effect.

I also could not understand why I felt itchy and saw small worms on my anus during the day. I was showering 4 to 5 times a day and it was really distressing. My research told me that the female worms come out at night to lay eggs, only after they have reached maturity, at which point they are upwards of 1cm in size. I was seeing 3mm worms on my anus throughout the day. The itching was accompanied by a sticky sensation which I was desperate to wash away.

[b:716aeed2f9]Then I realised what had been happening:[/b:716aeed2f9]

When I shower in the morning I wash thoroughly. However this is not enough. The females lays her eggs in the folds of the anus. And she lays hundreds of thousands of them. When I wash with soap, I am not cleaning every fold in my anus. My childrens' bottoms are positively smooth and flat compared to mine which is ravaged by childbirth and the odd haemorrhoid. This would explain why I have been itching and seeing worms in the daytime. The eggs that have been laid at night are hatching during the daytime, then crawling back up into my intestine. This is retro-infection, claimed by some to be \"rare\".

This was always accompanied by the appearance of tiny skin flakes in my knickers. I made sure I wore black knickers so I could monitor this. Sure enough, the level of itching was directly related to the amount of small white flakes in my underwear. I can only assume this is debris left behind after the worms have hatched.


I changed from washing with soap, to using an emollient cream (diprobase for eczema), which I carefully work into all the nooks and crannies before rinsing, then repeat the process. While not convinced they have left yet (I've only been doing this for about 3 weeks), I no longer have to shower in the daytime and do not get the flaky debris in my pants.

[b:716aeed2f9]Aggravating factors:[/b:716aeed2f9]

I definitely noticed that a day or two after having a sugar binge (e.g. eating huge packet of sweets) I would have an explosion of worms, day and night. If you can manage it, giving up sweets and sugar is very likely to help you win the war.

Whilst trying to break the cycle, it's also worth making a rule to always wear long pyjama bottoms over knickers to bed. This eliminates the need to wash bedlinen daily, as long as you are sure you are not scratching during the night.

[b:716aeed2f9]What didn't work:[/b:716aeed2f9]


Eating garlic cloves

Pumpkin seeds (nice though and very good for you!)

The doctor! Couldn't offer anything stronger than Ovex and just told me not to put my hands near my mouth.

I have laid myself bare in this post, which is still uncomfortable even with anonymity, in the hope that my experience may help someone else who is suffering from this hideous parasite. Unfortunately the medical profession couldn't give a sh*t, as it is \"harmless\"! They seriously need to update this attitude....

14 likes, 105 replies

105 Replies

  • Posted

    We have had similar experiences and myself plus three children are in the same boat except it gives me extreme anxiety,sleepless nights and huge guilt.

    I have never found a solution and neither has any consultant or doctor who normally either just say it doesn't exist or it is a skin complaint. This sounds extreme but it has affected my life a lot as I worry that the children will have it all their lives like I have had.

    I would be very interested to hear how you get on. There needs to be new drugs on the market as there are so many of us with this problem which really does affect our health.

    • Posted

      It scares me when peoples at they have had them for their lives, this is my third time I've had them and I posted a discussion for advice. I just don't think I'm breaking the cycle but I'm so scared I'll be stuck with them.
    • Posted

      So the person above said don't eat any sugar and use a lot of eczema cream and use this diprobase eczema cream in your folds. Anus long underware prevent the need for cleaning bedding ****

    • Posted

      I also have anxiety about this my girl is five and noticed them by herself I have treated all 4 of us but I'm so paranoid I'm trying a bottle of buckfast as we speak to try clear my system

  • Posted

    I have had this for over a year now, but still not actually technically been diagnosed with it.

    I have read several postings now, and I am now more distressed than ever because it seems you never get rid of it.

    Whilst I cannot prove anything, I am quite certain I got this from hospital following a routine colposcopy /biopsy where the Dr apologised for making a tear, which he then cauterised.

    I have been told all sorts, had all sorts of people look in my anus, poked all sorts up there, and given various samples.

    Most recently I was told they were going to investigate for threadworm, having waited 4 weeks (nothing in grand scheme of it all really), for a result of a stool sample I was asked to provide by a specialist.

    I was then informed that was the wrong thing, they should have given me a threadworm kit, which they said was very new, and so unlikely the VERY young Dr would have heard of (!!!!).

    This was last Thursday, I was then taken badly ill and only just feel more myself today (Monday). I have no idea when the best time to do the test because although they said morning, I have felt what I suspect to be the worms hatching about 3am, and I didn't like to have the 'cellotape' as the nurse at my local GPs described it, to hand, thinking it could get dust on it while I sleep - or am I just paranoid now!

    Anyway, it is only really slightly comforting to know I am not alone in my itching/burning/embarrassing state.

    I actually remember saying to one nurse about 6 months ago, I am 41, I need to know what this is, I don't want to be scratching my bum for the rest of my life.... looks like age isn't the issue.

    My partner knows all about the issue in general, but he has no idea of fact this could mean pyjamas AND knickers to stop sheets needing to be cleaned daily.

    Nobody has mentioned intercourse, so I hope that this won't be a problem because that will be the end of our relationship for sure. We're solid as a couple, but I couldn't allow him to go without, it will almost kill me to have none!

    I came here looking for answers, and sadly feel there is no light at the end of this tunnel, if you parden the pun.

    Maybe there will be an experimental drug on the market soon that they will be looking for volunteers to try - I'm up for that!

  • Posted

    [quote:83bc1cd6fd]I was then informed that was the wrong thing, they should have given me a threadworm kit, which they said was very new, and so unlikely the VERY young Dr would have heard of (!!!!).

    This was last Thursday, I was then taken badly ill and only just feel more myself today (Monday). I have no idea when the best time to do the test because although they said morning, I have felt what I suspect to be the worms hatching about 3am, and I didn't like to have the 'cellotape' as the nurse at my local GPs described it, to hand, thinking it could get dust on it while I sleep - or am I just paranoid now! [/quote:83bc1cd6fd]

    The Sellotape test has been round for years and is the definitive test for threadworm so GPs should know about it. When the females lay eggs they also produce an irritating mucus which is what causes the itch. The natural reaction is to scratch thereby infecting fingers and continuing the cycle of self-infection. This is one reason why wearing of PJs/pants is recommended, to avoid scratching while sleeping. The worms lay their eggs during the night (probably what you felt) and so the test is done first thing in the morning, before washing, to improve the chances of finding the eggs as this is when they are most numerous. Once the area has been \"sellotaped\" the normal washing as part of the hygiene measures should be done.

    It is a simple test and very quick for lab staff - they just look at the slide under the microscope and if eggs are there in large numbers it takes seconds to diagnose. (I am an ex-lab tech and have looked at many of these smile ).

  • Edited

    Dear OneFamily, thank you SO much for this posting. So much of what you say makes sense. We found we had this in August and all three of us took Ovex. My 10 year old was clear within 4 days and hasn't shown any sign of reoccurence, my husband never showed any symptoms in the first place but I carried on getting loads of live worms showing up during the day for the week after the tablet. Like you, it was during the daytime too and not just at night. I thought mine must be Australian and thinking it was night in the day!!

    Went to see my GP who said he had never heard of the tablet not working and that there wasn't anything else to offer. Told me to take another tablet even though it was only a week since the first one. I did and carried on having symptoms for about 6 days before finally they have stopped. We are all going to take another tablet this weekend which will be 2 weeks since my last one and 3 weeks since the boys first took one to finish off any eggs that may have hatched in the meantime through all the cleaning.

    Interestingly, I have been for an ultrasound scan today on my stomach and pelvis. Suspicions of stomach cancer or ovarian cancer were raised because I was experiencing stomach pain sporadically in various places, a sense of being full too quickly when eating and generally feeling unwell. All of those symptoms left after I took Mebenzadole (Ovex) so I suspect that the pain/discomfort and digestive problems were caused by the infestation. I mention it in case anyone else has these problems with it too. (I was given the all clear after the scan - no tumours, gallstones or other nasties!)

    My house is so clean that you could eat off any surface now! Hot washing bedding and towels like there is no tomorrow and hoping we have seen the last of the beggars.

    Just wanted to encourage anyone who is struggling with this to keep hoping - you CAN defeat this thing in the end. I would be interested to see if ultimately someone will develop a drug that DOES kill off the eggs and not just the live worms. That really would help and stop the feeling that I am a walking time machine..........!!!

    Best of wishes to anyone suffering out there. Hang in there!

  • Posted

    I have suffered with threadworms on and off for years. At the moment i havnt had any sympstons for around 2 wks but before that and the previous few months i had a terrible time. I went to the drs in desperation because i couldnt get rid of them by 'breaking the cycle' and asked for PRIPSEN - the stuff that paralyses the worm s as I'd read that Vermox kills the female worms and then the eggs are released and you get more of the damn things hatching out inside. Anyway, i took 3 doses of PRIPSEN 2 wks apart - just to make sure, this stuff causes me slight sickly feeling but only slightly. After the 3rd dose all well for a just over a wk and then i had them again. I was gutted as having them gets me really down sometimes.

    I eat pumpkin seeds and took Black Walnut tincture and i dont know if that was getting rid of them because i was having 2 or 3 come down aday but all has been quiet for the past 2 wks. I think if i can keep the numbers under control that will be good. Last wk i did have bloated stomach and a knotted feeling around my belly button for afew days dont know if this was realated to threadworms or not. I hope evryone has success in getting rid of these because they are so annoying and horrid..

  • Posted

    I just can't believe how bad this is getting for me now. When I first mentioned to an older friend of mine (50) tthat me (29) and the kids had TW, she told me how she and her kids had them when her kids were young, they all took a tablet and that was the end of the TW story. How different this is being for me. I seem to have it worse than the kids whose symptoms seem to dissapear following treatment, but mine never go following anything!! Then I must accidentally reinfect my own kids and we go on and on and on. My bottom is always itchy, with the mucous and white bits in knickers in morning, I can feel them 24/7 at the mo wriggling taking PRIPSEN seems to have made them just come back stronger???!!! I'm not THE most clean-housey person, I have depression so i do my best. I expect other ppl would have washed the bedding more often and done more than i have but oh my god this is horrible now sad I've ordered some diatomaceous earth food grade, wonder if that will do anything?
  • Posted

    You are not alone Boons i feel i am sharing your boat. Take a tip from 'OneFamily' as i am going to, and don't blame yourself. I too have depression which just makes keeping on top of things impossible! Constantly washing bedding etc & cleaning the house religiously is not realistic for most of us. I too have felt i am to blame for not doing more to beat this vile parasite. Thank you 'OneFamily' for good advice, fingers crossed anything is worth a try!
  • Posted

    Gave up taking the Pripsen as it did not work. Also, various dietary measures only had ltd success.

    A friend told me about DE (Diatomaceous Earth) and i bought 5k of food grade DE last august and have been taking that ever since. The DE has transformed my life. Wish i'd known about this yonks ago but obviously the doctors and drug company big pharma arnt going to tell you anything that can help you as they want your ££££. I started off by taking a rounded tsp. 3 times per day and at New Year i changed to 1 tsp morning and 1 tsp evening before bed. I mix in alittle juice or water. FANTASTIC!!!!!! biggrin

  • Edited

    I am the original poster and many times I have wanted to update this post to say I am finally free of this. However I have wisely resisted, as it just kept on coming back. I am now rid of the threadworms, and can confidently say this as I have not had symptoms for around 6 months now. Ultimately I think repeated doses of Ovex cured me but it did take over a year.

    When I started this war I was very heavily infested, due to ignoring symptoms for at least a year. I think this is why the initial attempts at treatment with Ovex did not work. I have read that Ovex leaves dead pregnant females in your gut and the eggs survive and hatch in your intestine. I think this theory has weight and it would explain why Ovex did not shift my heavy infestation. To start with at least, every female worm that is killed potentially leaves behind thousands more eggs to carry on the cycle, leaving you worse off.

    After trying everything I read about, I simply ended up taking Ovex on a weekly then fortnightly then monthly basis according to symptoms, until symptoms eventually disappeared totally. Which they did after more than a year of this. I think this regime simply reduced the numbers each time, until they were no more. There were many occasions when I reverted back to weekly doses as they seemed to be back with a vengeance. But I got there in the end.

    I would say to everyone don't get hung up on being reinfected from your home. If you do a single big clean, then you will have removed alot of eggs from the environment. But there are bound to be some you have missed. Yes they might reinfect you, but be reassured that they will not survive in the house more than a couple of weeks maximum (more likely days). If you are in this for the long haul like I was, this time frame will not affect the long term outcome. As long as you wear clean pants/pyjamas to bed each night and do not scratch, then from now your home will be worm free quite quickly.

    I am hyper vigilant for future signs of the children getting it again, but if they do I am confident that early treatment is likely to be much more successful this time. I still change pyjamas and trousers daily, so a lot of washing gets done in our house, also lots of handwashing. And I always have a box of Ovex on hand just in case, I keep it next to the nit comb......

    • Posted

      i read your original post and all the posts from everyone else who then commented on your post and i would like to thank you all as it has been very helpful.

    • Posted

      thank you...seven years in with 4 children. very sad. Don't have ovex here but will see what I can get. We have had no success with medication prescription and non. Any and all tips about medication welcome.

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