Pinworms are parasitic threadworms that stay in the body inside the intestine and thrive by absorbing all the nutrients. When the mature female threadworm makes its way out of the anus to deposit eggs near the vaginal area, you feel itchiness. These eggs can be spread by the infected persons if they touch any surfaces or other persons after itching the infected area.
Infection usually arises from little children in the family and since most pregnant women already have infected toddlers, they are more likely to be infected during pregnancy. Pinworm infection is not caused specifically due to pregnancy, but if you are expecting, then you maybe prone to the infection.
The most effective solution for pinworm infection is prevention by adhering to strict hygienic measures. It should be observed by the entire family to be rid of it completely. Pinworms present in the bowel cannot live for more than six weeks and if taken proper care, you can avoid swallowing new eggs and starting another chain. Here are some of the measures you need to follow to prevent the spread of infection in the family.
Measures to Prevent Pinworm Infection
- Clean the surface areas of kitchen and bathroom thoroughly and use hot water to disinfect frequently touched objects and areas.
- Since the eggs get transmitted by getting lodged under the fingernails when scratched, it is important to wash them well and keep them clipped short.
- Change your bed linens regularly.
- Wash your hands with soap every time you visit the toilet and do the same carefully when changing diapers.
- Kids habituated to nail biting, thumb sucking or scratching, should be especially taken care of. Try to discourage such habits by discussing and showing them video clips about pinworms.
- Change your clothes and underwear everyday and take a shower on a daily basis to wash off the egg deposits of previous night.
- When doing laundry, wash clothes, bedcovers and towels using hot water and in the dryer, use hot air option to clean them thoroughly.
- Let in natural light into the rooms, because pinworm eggs are affected by sunlight.
- Pets in the house do not get infected, but you should always wash your hands when you touch them, so as to avoid contacting the eggs present on their bodies.
- Vacuum your home regularly.
- Avoid taking food into bedrooms and onto the bed.
- Clean your toothbrush with water before use and keep it covered in a closed container after use.
Pinworm infection may last for a few weeks and since pregnant women cannot take medications unless they are prescribed in some cases, you can try home remedies to reduce the problem. Taking small quantities of raw garlic cloves is known to get rid of eggs and prevent forming of new eggs. You may also try raw carrots and coconut oil for their natural germ killing properties. However, you should be aware that home remedies may not work for everyone and pregnant women should test for allergies before trying. Meanwhile, preventive measures must be strictly followed.