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Have had IBS. Having cough. Noticed worms in stool. Safe to use tampon while having worms?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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About a month ago I started seeing what I thought was phlegm in my stools, because I have had IBS problems in the past I just started eating better. I also developed a strange cough that sometimes made me feel like I had to vomit. I went to the doctor and she said my lungs sounded fine and when I coughed she told me it sounds a bit like wheezy so she prescribed an inhaler and three days of antibiotics since I coughed up a yellow chunk in her office. I tried to get a stool sample for parasites but she didn't think it was necessary. During the next three weeks my cough didn't change and my stools clearly have worms. We got a puppy 7 months ago, he was 10 weeks old when he moved in. He had his regular shots and was neutered at 5 months old. He showed no signs of worms,no bloating,no worms around his anus, like my other puppies did in the past but after my stools looked so scary I decided to deworm the puppy and my 6 year old dog last Friday and they were both full of worms, they are still coming out in their feces. I finally was able to get stool sample tests ordered and they came back negative even though the worms I put into them very visible to the naked eye. I have had two sets of stool samples come back negative even though I can see worms in my poop and now it looks like I am coughing them up. I was able to get some medication from a friend who is a doctor Albenza I think it is called.I took two pills last night they were 200mg. She also gave me two to take in two weeks. My question is, my period is starting. is it safe to use a tampon with worms? Also, my 10 year old son found clear like worms when he wiped,is it really that easy to get from dogs? I must tell you I take the puppy to an off leash dog park 3times a week and he eats everything from dirt poop,sticks and also has ran up and started drinking out of puddles before I could stop him. Our puppy sleeps either with my son or me. My doctor told me it is unlikely we both got worms from the dog but where else would we have got them? My son and I do not have any itching around our anus we both have a cough, I have lost 11 pounds because I feel nausea , gas,and I feel bloated. My son is not as sick as me but he recently is not hungry and he usually eats lot, I got medication for him but I am waiting to see what his stool sample results are. I was told sometimes you get many negative results before you get a positive ,is that common,and why?
Posted Sun, 3 Mar 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 2 hours later
Hello. Thank you for writing to us.

At first, I assume your dog and your family got the worms from eating contaminated food. These are mostly of faeco-oral transmission, which means food that is contaminated with faeces (stool) that has the worms was consumed by your dogs and your family.

Yes ma'am, you can get a few negative results before getting a positive one, most commonly because the stool sample would have too few of the infection causing organism to conclude a positive result. This is why you would require to repeat a stool analysis.

It is fine to use a tampon when you have worms, as the worms are in your gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and not in your reproductive and urinary systems.

I hope I have provided you with the information you were looking for. Feel free to write back to me for any further information. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have had IBS. Having cough. Noticed worms in stool. Safe to use tampon while having worms? 3 hours later
I am still wondering what kind of worm it is,I tried to download a photo of it in the area where you can send documents but it did't work. Could I send you some photos to an e-mail? Also, our puppy and adult dog are still pooping out pretty big worms can my dog become re-infected from eating this poo with the dead worms?
Could the puppy have picked up the worms at the dog park? He often runs to puddles that oth dogs could have defecated in and drinks it. I really want to know what worm it is, It cannot be pin worm since dogs dont get that one,It cannot be tapeworm because the chances of my son and I eating an flea infected are slim to nothing
Most likely he either ate some poo and came inside and licked my hand or ate a cookie from it and I didn;t wash and touched my face, Is that possible/
You have been an amazing help,
since I took the medication can my son reinfect me since he has not been treated yet? Sorry if my typing is getting bad, I am so tired, it is 3am here, think you
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 26 minutes later
Hi, thank you for your response.

Although a stool analysis is best, I shall try my best to help you. Please email the pictures to: XXXXXXX YYYY@YYYY XXXXXXX Address the mail with the subject line "ATTN: Dr. Shoaib Khan XXXXXXX

The scenario you presented is unlikely. As only larva or eggs of these worms are usually the contamination found in food that can spread the infection once it enters the body. Licking your face will not suffice, you should have ingested food or water contaminated with the eggs or larva.

Your son can only re-infect you if his stool comes in contact with food that you consume. So this is unlikely, please take your son to the doctor and start him on antihelmentics (eg. Albendazole, mebendazole) at the earliest.

I am glad I could help. Do get some rest and write back to any time. I am always available to help.

Best wishes...
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Follow-up: Have had IBS. Having cough. Noticed worms in stool. Safe to use tampon while having worms? 16 hours later
I sent 6 photos to the address above with it addressed to you in the subject line but it was returned to me and said that it was rejected by the server for XXXXXXX I tried two more times but the same thing happened,
Do you have another e-mail I could send it to? I was really hoping to get your opinion on the photos,
I took the albendazole at 10 pm pacific central time on Thursday how long will it take before it works? At this time I am still seeing the same thing as before I took it,
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 1 hour later

My apologies for any inconveniences caused. Please try sending the email to:
Your email should come through to either one of these addresses. Thank you.

Depending on the duration of therapy (normally 1 month-4 months) advised you should see an improvement. Normally, for a stool infected individual a clinical improvement should be seen within 48 hours of initiating therapy, and patients usually experience an improvement within 3-7 days of initiating therapy.

Please try the above addresses, and feel free to write back to me with any further clarifications. I would be glad to help.
Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have had IBS. Having cough. Noticed worms in stool. Safe to use tampon while having worms? 25 hours later
I have sent you the images to your email.
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 41 minutes later
Hi. Thank you for the pictures. I have received them.

This indeed is a parasite infection. Although a more close examination in the laboratory would help in determining which parasite this is in particular, from your images it could be a hookworm, roundworm, or tapeworm. Please take these samples to the laboratory for analysis to distinguish their type.

All the above listed parasites can be treated with the medication you are currently prescribed (i.e. Albenza-albendazole). Please discuss the dosages with your doctor and give this top priority, as an inappropriate dosage is an equivalent to no treatment.

Discuss the possibility of adding levamisole or pyrantel pamoate to your treatment regimen. I have also noticed that your stool is dark brown-blackish in color. This could be a sign of a bleed, and could result in anemia. Please discuss adding ferrous sulfate tablets also to your regimen if you have a reduced hemoglobin levels.

Please write back to me for any further clarifications. I am always available to answer your questions. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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