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....

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  • Edited

    Hello one-family thanks for posting this. I'm in the middle of a nasty itchy bout and ive just discovered this site. Took Ovex but i was still itching last night, when will it stop? im on my own no children to worry about but i wonder if i got these latest from a friends little boy. she didnt tell me till the end of my visit about the problem. Im going to phonr her tomorrow and get the latest. You say use ovez regular but some people say it just makes it worse, which is true? Im spending part of my weekend today looking thru the site. Lots of washing ahead if i need clean knicks at night as well as day! What i need is a MAN to give the things to and see how he deals with it lol
  • Edited

    Hi there. I agree about Ovex possibly making things worse. But that is perhaps only to start with. Once you start taking it regularly I think you are killing most of the worms before they have a chance to develop eggs. I am not sure of the science of this though. I just felt that each Ovex tablet was killing slightly more than were coming back and that is why it took sooo long to get rid of them entirely. With hindsight, it might have been better to use the Pripsen treatment that actually expels the worms, then you don't get any eggs left behind. All the best, hope you sort it out.
    • Posted

      Hi one-family,

      I am new to this forum and greatly encouraged by ur post. I am taking combination of albendazole and mebendazole for 3 days but my symptoms doesn't seem to improve. I have tried albendazole earlier also but of no use. I am just confused about TW eggs.. Can they hatch inside intestine or do they need oxygen to hatch and that is why female worms comes to lay their eggs near rectum?

  • Edited

    Oh and I wanted to share an interesting fact I gained from my experience. They totally live in your ears!! I think all it takes is a one off transfer of eggs from scratching your bum and then putting your finger in your ear at night. I noticed an insane itching inside my ear canal at nighttime, often when they were wriggling down below as well. I don't think they last forever in there, but they definitely survive much longer than when they get into the vagina. Maybe they can live on earwax? I noticed a faster reduction in my symptoms after I religiously stopped putting my fingers in my ears if they were itchy, day or night.
  • Posted

    Gross!!!! When i went visiting i just slept in my knicks wont do that anymore! i cant get to a chemist now till Mon so just hoping this itch wont get anyworse, it drove me crazy last night.
  • Posted

    Hello Onefamily, i've just posted on the If you have threadworms please read this... site. Spent my weekend reading up, here and wiki! Good luck everyone here, and i need it too.
  • Posted

    Help, I have researched so much and have definitely got this. I'm 13 and my mum is a total hygiene freak, it's hard to explain but I could never tell her this. I tried super hygiene regimes and weeks later I still found lots more worms in poo. The sugar tip really helps, thanks. Shall I just hope they die in 6 weeks or get somemenbedezole, a drug available for over-the-till purchase that's apparently the most effective?

  • Posted

    Oh yeah, the most odd thing in my case is that I've had NO ITCHING at all?...!

    • Posted

      Yes it's possible to be itch free. My daughter denied itching until I saw them in her stool, so am treating her as we'll now, she said it never itched, she doesn't scratch and sleeps ok at night
  • Posted

    Hi! From all the symptoms I've read here and on other places, it sounds like I have these Thread-worms. But, being a teenage girl I find it extremely awkward to tell my parents. I have younger brothers and I think I must have caught it from them; which makes it even worse. Should I just wait until they go away and regularly wash, or should I tell someone so I can get some proper treatment. Bearing in mind I have to take Methotrexate weekly... I'm really worried!
  • Edited

    Hi, Have been suffering from these infernal things for two and a half years now. Thought at first (like many others) that my haemorrhoids had returned. Needless to say it was not and my self diagnosis of threadworms is confirmed. Doctor was not helpful, neither was Ovex, Albendazole nor Ivermectin (seriously powerful drugs) they did not help in any way but to give me serious skin rash with very dry skin and skin splitting. I have done the homeopathic remedies i.e. black walnut, wormwood and clove remedy - useless. Tried Diatom a while back and in desperation am trying this again over a period of 13 weeks ( 10 to go) haven't found much relief up to now. Took laxatives every other day for about three weeks which like previous so-called remedies only made the situation unbearable.

    The small white things that appear in your panties are the male worms (1-2mm long). Females must lay eggs outside of the bowel because the eggs MJST HAVE OXYGEN in order to hatch. It takes the eggs approximately 2 hours plus to hatch and some get lost and go back into the bowel where after making their way to the small intestine they mature into females and the cycle begins again - known as retroinfection.

    It is the eggs which are impervious to all disinfectants, bleaches etc.

    I believe that there must be research done into producing something to kill the eggs in the stomach before they have a chance to mature in the small intestine.

    My sympathies go out to all who are suffering with these tenacious parasites whose only purpose in life is to make every day hell for its hosts. With possibly up to 50% of the population infected, some of whom are oblivious to the fact they are infected or have not been diagnosed with threadworm, this will spread hopefully to some members of the human race (member of parliament, royalty and the like) to be safe in the knowledge that perhaps more research into a cure for threadworms will be found.

    Ever hopeful.

  • Posted

    I had long term symptoms of threadworm and I'm now completely cured, I think it's important to tell my story for those of you who have had a similar experience to me.

    17 years ago I got repeated infection of threadworm through kids stoking my cute dog, and me being very close to my dog.

    At first Ovex and pripsen worked well to clear it up, then at some stage it stopped working and no amount of Overdosing on both would work.

    When my dog died 3 years ago, I felt I could look forwards to a worm free life by hygene measures, which I became obsessive with, but this failed, and a few years later as I approached my wedding, I did not want to go down the isle with the symptoms which had turned in to what felt like huge and vigorous wriggling things descending from my anus and vagina, and crawling over my buttocks and down my legs, and feelings like the eggs were hatching on my face and other areas, you can imagine what an impact this had on my sex life with my fiance'! I had been to the doctors before and they had done at least 2 poo samples for eggs but found none, and instead said it was down to stress.

    I did not believe them, I could not ignore the evidence of my senses, and saying I was stressed offered me no solutions, so I was hell bent on proving I was infested, this is where it gets really gross, I started poo watching and even putting poo samples on a microscope and taking it back to the doctors along with my black knickers to show white flecks on them, evidence I thought of worm debris, I also limited my diet to eating only pineaple, and I started douching myself with garlic enemas, inserting garlic cloves in my anus at night, and so on, and on, and on......sigh!! I have to say, that during all this time I never actually saw any thereadworm evidence, but what I thought might be worms were actually pinaple fibers, it was all horrible and horrible awful, at this stage I had been infected 15 years!

    I pestered the doctors so much they sent me to a skin specialist, who then sent my to another specialist in London, now here my story takes an unusual twist, the specialist said that he had come across many cases identical to mine, and there was a simple solution to it, he asked me if I was depressed, and I said what I had been saying all along, that apart from the worms, I was a very happy woman, he talked to me a bit more and decided I wasn't depressed, but prescibed antidepressants! I thought W T F! He said it might be psychosymatic, and effected more women that men over the age of 40, which I was.

    I left him saying I was so desperate I would try anything, I go my antidepressants, took one before bedtime, and that night the worms seemed like 'ghost worms', they were there, but less noticable, the following night they completely vanished! And they stayed vanished! I slept in heavenly peace for the first time in years! 

    I simply could not belieive my head could play such trick on my body! And I'm not suggesting to anyone that their worms aren't real, especially if there is physical evidence of them, but in my case, my symptoms were real, but the worms, at this stage did not exist! My symptoms were so real, that when I scratched my bottom, the itching would stop, and I concluded I had ruptured the little buggers and killed them, I could also wash them off in the middle of their frenzied activities down there, and it would make it stop, concluding in my mind, that I'd washed them off.

    My story does not end here, I had a very happy wedding day, and was so overjoyed to be cured, that I wanted to forget all about it, and so I did, till a month ago, six years after being cured, the little buggers returned, now I was confused!

    Were they phantom worms or not! I had no way of telling, still taking my antidepressants ( becaus I get deliciously lovely sleeeps with them : )

    I thought even a psychosymatic person might still actually to get worms, well! No one is immune are they! So, I launched back into all my old and depressing habits, determined to eliminate the possibility them actually being real, and finally went back to my GP, ( different guy this time ) he said with rather hurred impatience and nochelance, that I should take some antihisthamine, so I did, and it has stopped again!, over 2 nights!

    This time I am convinced it's my mind playing tricks on me again, don't get me wrong, this isn't something like imagination, the symptoms were as real as before, but because this is the 2nd time this has happened, I decided to look up my symptoms, and I was knocked out to read about myself in wikepidia definitions amongst other things. Look up DELUSIONAL PARASITOSIS http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delusional_parasitosis

    I felt as though they were talking about me exclusively, but I guess there are others out there just like me! Which is why I'm telling my story on this forum, in the hope that one of you may be helped if your experiences are like mine, I felt it was important to tell you, because I am not a doctor, I was a fellow sufferer, and had I been more comprehensively diagnosed early on, it would have saved me years of misery, and I would not have gone down the exhausting challenge of proving I was right, that my worms were real.

    This may not be right for you, but if you even suspect that it might be, please approach your doctor in the spirit of eliminating every possibility, and no! I don't like the idea of being delusional, but you can say what you want, as long as I don't have worms, you can call me what you want!

    I offer you every sympathy with your condition, and I hope you find your way through it.

    • Posted

      We'll since most people here are saying they can see worms they can't be delusional can they? OneFamily did you manage to get rid of them in the end? I'd love to hear some success stories.

      ive been on mebendazole for 3 months now. Haven't seen an adult size worm for at least 5 weeks, so my point is where are the young ones coming from if there's no one to lay eggs? I also get white dots on my underwear, they itch as they move, I try to clean up as soon as I feel an itch but it happens all throughout the day and night 

    • Posted

      Hmm this is  very interesting and actually pretty relevant to  me  at the moment. I am due to be perscribed antidepressants and knowing that  information will become very useful to me.  I too have been perscribed many medications by  the GP and tried many techniques, and at 17 i have just entered  a realationship with my boyfriend and feel very much ashamed to be afflicted with these parasites. I have found some new techniques which i am  eager to try out, and whilst i am aware this discussion is ikely  closed, i will update on all succesful techniques for future patients.
  • Posted

    Hello. My daughter has just pointed out the white bug in her poo. Googled and now know I am going to war against tw. So I have read here about our possible future (with quite a few sharp intakes of breath). Quite confused.  Seems to be three different medicines, oils and pineapple, diamocteous earth and wet dusting for cleaning.  I'm to never wear a nightie again and washing to be done daily for everything in the house.  How do I get the kids to stop touching their faces and running round without clothes?  Got to remember to not get phantom about it too.

    i'll try remember to post later to let you know how it goes.  If I were single in an organised home think this challenge would be less, but always liked a challenge ( famous last words).  Thank god in a way though as thought I had chrons disease! And at least there is a reason for daughters sore tummy now.  Small blessings I guess.

    • Posted

      Did you ever get them or just your daughter?

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