white worm things

PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

Brooklynn asks:

I get little white worms in my poop and they're about the size of my pinky nail and there really thin. What could they be? They make my butt itch really bad, too.

Dear Brooklynn,

You most likely have pinworms. Pinworm is the most common worm infection in the United States.

Pinworms are parasites that live in the large intestine. They come out through the anus to lay eggs at night. Pinworms are about a third of an inch long and look like white threads. Often, some of them can be seen in the bowel movements.

When you scratch your butt in the middle of the night while you are sleeping, then touch your mouth, or food that will end up in your mouth, you eat the eggs that are under your fingernails and get re-infected.

See your doctor. There is a pill that you can take to get rid of these worms. It is called Vermox. There are also OTC meds to treat pinworms, and eating raw, shredded carrots helps to expel the worms.

Thanks for asking Motherload!

Motherload is a Certified Nurse Assistant as well as an IBS sufferer, which means she knows a lot about poop. Got a question for her? Ask it here.

739 Comments on "white worm things"

The Skinny Olsen's picture

I would much rather have a tapeworm. It's like the best non-prescription diet aid there could ever be! And I hear they don't itch like those pinworm things!

werewolf pooping on trees's picture
l 100+ points

Yes, but they're also the length of a school bus and can make you severely constipated if they get too long and fold over too many times.

...and they all lived crappily ever after!

...and they all lived crappily ever after!

Anonymous Coward's picture

Well i don't think i have pinworms but i did see a couple of white strands in my well you get the picture would that be pinworms...i am a little itchy but the doctor told me i had vaginaitis

Anonymous coward's picture

can a tapeworm be harmful to you like hurt you or possibly any worse consequences?

Shantastic!'s picture

Ok, you people are hilarious..seriously funny ! .. my daughter has pinworms so I was researching them and found this...anyone have myspace? I bet some of you have hilarious blogs!!! I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours!!
~Shannon :) myspace.com/charlotterealtor

Tanshastic's picture

I just took a "blog". A one-wiper with excellent sphincter distension, a slick yet textured outer layer around what I can only assume was a firm but yielding core of nougaty digestive matter. Posted to the city wastewater facility, alas. My cable modem wouldn't accept it.

jimbob's picture

i was wondering, will they go away on their own?
im too embarassed to go to the doctor or tell anyone and ive actually been trying to manually remove the worms!b e.g with toilet paper
i first noticed 3 days ago, and there has been considerably less worms and much less itching. will it just go away? ive been washing my hands alot and all the other stuff ive found out..

Queen of Sharts's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

Dude-- Doctors have seen everything!! Go to the doctor, get you some anti-worm medicine and get rid of them for good- there's nothing to be ashamed of... it's not like you got a jam jar stuck up there or something.

Don't be playin' with the Queen of Sharts

Don't be playin' with the Queen of Sharts

Scared Sh*tless's picture

Well, Queen, I know you're right about the doctor part, but try getting past the receptionist without telling her what you're there for. Believe me, I'd rather have the worms backed up to my sinuses before I'd tell that girl what the problem is. Seriously, I always call my doctor's office and make an appointment by telling them I'm coming in for a sore elbow or something, and then I tell the doctor the truth. This makes me worse than a shameful shitter, believe me. I'm absolutely mortified by having to tell the woman at the front desk what's wrong, unless it's something so neutral, like an arrow in my skull or something, that I don't have to be shy.
If anything ever goes wrong with my wiener, I'm going to be in big trouble. That would be ten times worse than going in for a poop ailment!

I know that makes me sound pathetic, and I wish I could buy into the "they're all professionals argument", but I've been reluctant to tell the screening people what my problem is for years and it's not going to change any time soon.

Am I the only one who feels this way? I have no idea. It's even worse when there are other people in the waiting area and the woman at the desk says, "What did you want to see Dr. Smith about today?" and I can feel every set of ears tuning in behind my back. You think I like it that way, being so ashamed of having something wrong that I want no one else to know about it? I don't.

So, Jimbob, if you ever check back here, understand that you're not the only one who wants to know if something will heal itself so you won't have to go tell a doctor about it. All I can tell you is that if you find a doctor who seems competent and professional and understanding, tell the doctor that there might be times when you are too shy to come in because you're embarrassed. Maybe he or she will suggest a less threatening way of getting in touch with him or her on the phone so you can describe your symptoms and find out if you need to see a doctor. I feel for you, Jimbob, because believe me, I've been there.

jimbob, aka al's picture

yeah maybe i will go to the doctor but you know its been 4 or maybe 5 days now and all the symptoms are getting less intense every day. in fact the only symptoms are the itching and the worms themselves. all the others ive heard about i havent had.

surely theyll just go in a couple of days.....
maybe i should eat a load of shredded raw carrot

Famous Anus's picture

Ok-my daughter (10) discovered she had pinworms one night...I freaked and took her to the emergency room because I didn't know what they were. They said she had an advanced case because they could actually see hers on the outside of her anus hole and they actually asked if they could take a picture! (see where I chose the name "famous anus"...that's what I joked about with her to keep her calm) anyways they did prescribe one pill and one for everyone in our family. Said if one person is infected chances are everyone is because it is so contagious. They also said shower daily and use wipes at night on the rearend. That was about it...so I found these postings very interesting because she and I both keep thinking they're back....I think it's more in our head but yuck, once you're exposed to this you do get a bit paranoid...and I always have been a big handwasher...purell...in car, on desk, in purse etc. Also they said wash the sheets. I'm gonna start eating carrots by the pound now! One thing that MIGHT make you feel better is they said pediatrician doctors tend to get these alot because of their regular exposure to children....I keep telling myself that because I am not a dirty person and I do keep a clean house....gtg get my carrots.

Famous Anus's picture

Just enjoyed reviewing all of these and knowing I'm not alone, nor crazy! Thanks for everyone's honesty and bluntness!

Anonymous Coward's picture

hi. if you could please help me thatd be great. im a teenager & i know i have those worm things. im really paranoid & oviously i searched for a site like this. I dont want to ask my mom for help so what can i do to get rid of them? please help

Motherload's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

Anonymous Coward, first of all, DON'T PANIC. All you need to do is go to a store like Walmart or your local drug store and buy a product called Pin-x or Pin-Rid or Reese's Pinworm Medicine (not Reeses Pieces) and take it according to the directions on the package. Usually you take one dose, then 2 weeks later follow up with the second dose.

The most important thing to remember though, is that YOU HAVE TO WASH EVERYTHING. I realize you are a teenager and this is probably against your current religion, but you have to clean your room.

Make sure that once you take the first pill you change the sheets and blankets on your bed, and be sure to wash them and your clothing (especially underwear and pajamas) in HOT water.

Dust your furniture, sweep your floor and even use the vacuum cleaner on your mattress and stuffed animals if possible.


Then 2 weeks later take the other dose just to make sure you got them all and you should be fine.

Always looking out for number two!

Always looking out for number two!

GottaGoGirl's picture
i 2000+ points

If he starts all that cleaning-up, his mother will absolutely know he is NOT fine! :)
Pug-Fug. It happens.

Anonymous Coward 2's picture


I really do need your help, i.e. before I have a nervous breakdown!!!!

For appproximately 1 week now I have had an entity which I believe is a pinworm moving about in my rectum day and night.

I am reluctant to go back to the doctor's and I'm afraid to ask those that I know for advise because I am positive they will think that I am crazy. About two days ago I purchased some pin-x to no avail as the cretin never left my rectum to consume the medicine.

This thing seems to have
inhabited my rectum with very little intention of leaving.......please, please, please advise of a way to get this PARASITE out of my rectum.

Just read that a clove of garlic inserted in the rectum will help....my question is how is the garlic getting out of the rectum????



Recto Magnifico's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

Just wondering about this whole "lame comments" thing.
Someone named Brittany posted on 9/4/06, saying "I took a bath then a shower and cleaned my nails out so hard, then proceeded to wash all my clothes and sheets and pillowcases. I 409ed my nightstand and everthing on it, hopefully that helped some. I just took a dose of Pin-X."

Double Flush got a Lame Comment -1 point for this response, same date:
"It sounds to me like you are well on your way, Brittany. Just keep that up for a bit to kill anything that hatches before they can lay more eggs. That's all I know to do."

On 1/14/07, Motherload gives advice that sounds very similar to the combination of Brittany's and Double Flush's posts regarding the cleaning aspect.

Double Flush has a history of getting lamed, so maybe it's just routine to assume the 9/4 comment was lame. But if it was actually lame, I really have no clue what standards are used to determine that.

Looked to me like Double Flush was offering encouragement, nothing more.

Livin' La Vida Caca!

Livin' La Vida Caca!

Anonymous Coward's picture

crap so i could be giving these pinworms to people i come in contact with every day?

I need answers's picture

What happens if you don't treat pinworms? I don't have them but I would like to know what could happen.

Scared of handshakes's picture

A.C., one above: According to about five web sites I visited, pinworms are contagious. If you're shaking hands with people, maybe that's one way of transmitting them, but I don't think it's that great a risk if your hands are clean and your nails are short.
Where I work, they love to make a huge bowl of popcorn every day. Everyone (except me) sticks their hands in there and digs in. I have no idea whether everyone I work with washes their hands after crapping. I don't take the chance of anything being on food that's shared from a bowl or a tray, or even a box of donuts someone brings to work.
I think if you keep your fingernails short, wash your hands thoroughly after shitting, and avoid doing any bare hand scratching of your ass if the worms are irritating you, you probably minimize risk to others.

Anonymous Coward's picture

I found a worm about two and a half weeks ago. Took medicine for it and everything. I think I had the worms in my vagina too, because in the discharge, there's like...little "pieces" (I don't know how else to describe it.)

After I found out about the worms, I washed everything in hot water (clothes, bedsheets, pillowcases, the works) and bleached my mattress out of sheer panic.

Is there something I have to do about getting the worm..carcasses..out of my vagina..? I'm so freaked out by this and I'm afraid to mention it to anyone. Please help! (I've been eating DOZENS of carrots..)

The Dumpster's picture
i 2000+ points

"Is there something I have to do about getting the worm..carcasses..out of my vagina..?"

I will try to think about this, as soon as I can stop laughing.

The Dumpster's picture
i 2000+ points

...I'm through laughing, now. Call 1-800-DONIKER. He may have a tool that can clean you out.

Deja Poo's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points

"Is there something I have to do about getting the worm..carcasses..out of my vagina..?"

I wouldn't worry too much about it. In fact, it doesn't need cleaning out at all. The worm carcasses will decompose of their own accord, along with any remaining sloughed skin, blood and ovum from previous menstrual cycles. Uric acid helps create the proper PH level, so don't wipe after urinating either. Once this combination has been allowed to stew for a few months -- Voila! -- you have the perfect growth medium for your yeast mold collection.

Yo quiero Taco Bell.

Recto Magnifico's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

Sorry, I'm not getting why it's okay for the previous three posts to mock a post by someone who might have actually been concerned about a health issue? Maybe the same "janitors" that some regulars to this site laud should take a look at that kind of ridicule. Seems to me these posts are every bit as flame-like as others that have been deleted.

I guess there must be a distinction I'm missing here between telling someone you're laughing at them and telling someone you think their story is weak.

Livin' La Vida Caca!

Livin' La Vida Caca!

Dog lady's picture

Why don't you just do a vinegar douche to get rid of the remnants of the worms? Yuck.

GottaGoGirl's picture
i 2000+ points

Recto, I think it's a matter of there already being quite a few SERIOUS responses. Of course, we're presuming people will know the DIFFERENCE when they read the thread. Big presumption, obviously.

Not only is there already good information to be had in the thread, but if people are silly enough to take their medical advice ONLY from a poop HUMOR site, maybe someone will say something so outrageous that the poor souls will be frightened enough to actually CONSULT A DOCTOR.

We're Poop Report.
We're Here To Help.

And To Laugh At You.

OMG. Just found my new signature. Thanks, Recto!

Recto Magnifico's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

Oh, okay. I guess we can assume that anyone who posts here about a healthy concern they have will be discerning enough to know that when they're being mocked it translates to "see a doctor". Gotcha.

Sorry I missed the part where the poster implied that she was taking her medical advice only from a poop humor site. I'm sure she was frightened enough to consult a doctor, rather than merely finding that her question was viewed as something that opened the door to another humor opportunity. She's probably happy to have helped.

Livin' La Vida Caca!

Livin' La Vida Caca!

GottaGoGirl's picture
i 2000+ points

Okay, yeah. If you google "pinworms" there are at LEAST 100 hits on actual medical sites that come up BEFORE Poop Report. It makes perfect sense, therefore, to simply SKIP OVER FamilyDoctor, MedlinePlus, WebMD, eMedicineHealth, DrGreene, medicineEnet, mdchoice, healthcentral, mayoclinic, as well as more than 89 other MEDICAL answers. Of course. How silly of me.

But, as you point out, since the reading public appears to be incapable of discerning what constitutes the difference between actual medical advice from humor, here y'go:

From Dr. Greene:
Related concepts:
Worms, Nematodes, Enterobiasis, Enterobius vermicularis
Although adults often shudder at pinworm infections, most kids don't have this same gut response. In any case, pinworms are mostly harmless and inhabit people in every socioeconomic group and culture.

What is it?
The pinworm, or Enterobius vermicularis, is one of the most common parasitic infections of humans. Somewhere between 10 percent and 40 percent of children have pinworms at any given time.

The adult pinworms are white and measure less than one half inch long, with the diameter of a strand of thread. These tiny roundworms are quite complex. Like us, they have mouths, throats, and gastrointestinal tracts. Like us, they have nervous systems. The females have a vagina, a uterus, and ovaries. The males have a testicle, vas deferens, seminal vesicle, and ejaculatory duct. They eat, drink, pee, poop, and reproduce sexually.

The adult worms live in the colons (large intestines) of human children and apparently feed on human fecal matter.

When adult male and female worms copulate, each female pinworm produces about 10,000 fertilized eggs. At night, the pregnant female migrates from the colon, out through the child's anus and onto the skin of the buttocks. There she violently expels all of her eggs and dies. Some of the eggs become airborne and land elsewhere in the child's room, but the great majority of the fertilized eggs stay on the skin of the child's buttocks. The eggs mature within six hours of being laid.

The adult worms and the eggs on the skin of the buttocks can cause intense itching in the child. When the sleeping child scratches, the eggs often get on the fingers and under the fingernails. If the child sucks his or her thumb or otherwise brings his or her hand to the mouth (perhaps while eating breakfast), the pinworm eggs are swallowed. They usually hatch within the small intestine and mature there. When they become adults, they move to the colon where they take up residence. The entire life cycle lasts four to six weeks.

Occasionally the story goes a little differently. Sometimes a child can inhale airborne eggs and become infected that way. Every now and then the eggs will hatch on the skin of the buttocks, and the immature larvae will crawl back through the anus, up into the rectum and eventually arrive in the colon. Also, the eggs can hatch on the skin of girls and the larvae crawl into the vagina instead of the rectum. This happens in up to 20% of girls with pinworms. The vaginal pinworms usually die out with no outside help.

Who gets it?
Pinworms are found worldwide and can affect people of all ages, although the great majority of cases occur before age 12. Pinworms occur in all socioeconomic groups, but are more common wherever children are in close contact with each other.

What are the symptoms?
Most children with pinworms have no symptoms at all. In the same way that many bacteria live in our intestines without making us sick, pinworms can live happily in our intestines without causing any problems. Since the pinworm almost always stays in the gastrointestinal tract (or vagina), there is usually no systemic illness.

Some children, however, develop nighttime itching of the skin around the anus. For a small number of these children, the itching can be quite intense.

The girls who develop vaginal pinworm infections often develop vaginal itching and sometimes a vaginal discharge.

Attempts to link pinworm infection to bed wetting or grinding of the teeth have been unsuccessful, but pinworm infestations can interfere with sleep.

Is it contagious?
Pinworms are contagious. Fertile eggs are usually spread on fingernails, but can also be spread on clothing, bedding, or even house dust. Fertilized eggs can remain alive for 20 days, waiting to be swallowed or inhaled.

How long does it last?
The life cycle of a pinworm is 4 to 6 weeks. Without treatment, infestation will continue as long as fresh eggs are being swallowed, unless a person develops immunity to pinworms, which is unusual before age 15.

How is it diagnosed?
Stool and blood tests are not very helpful in diagnosing pinworms. Seeing a worm clinches the diagnosis. Check your child's skin with a flashlight during the night and first thing in the morning. Look for white, wiggling threads. If it's not wiggling, it's probably just lint. Occasionally a wiggling worm will be seen on the surface of a stool. Pinworms are so common that children with nighttime anal itching are often treated without any lab test at all. The classic diagnostic tool is to apply a piece of transparent tape to the skin near the anus first thing in the morning. This tape can then be attached to a glass slide and examined under a microscope for the presence of eggs. Your doctor can supply you with a pinworm lab kit, if necessary. Remember, though, that these eggs are infective!

How is it treated?
The treatment is two doses of an anti-pinworm drug. The second dose is given 2 weeks after the first.

Physicians disagree about whether or not to treat all family members. Treating the infected child alone will often get rid of the infestation. Anyone who sleeps with the child, or any family member or friend with itching should be treated. In stubborn cases, treating the family members, and particularly the other children, can be a good idea.

Washing the bedding on the treatment day may help and is often recommended.

How can it be prevented?
This easily transmissible infection is very common in children. It is not a sign of poor hygiene. It is easily spread at home, school, or day care (pets have no part in the pinworm story). Since most kids experience no ill effects whatsoever, extreme measures to prevent pinworms are not wise.

I recommend trimming the fingernails, scrubbing the hands (after awakening, before meals – especially breakfast – and after toileting). These measures have never been proven to help at all, but they still seem like a good idea to me.

Where pinworms are a constant problem, treating every 3 months may help to prevent re-infestation.

The Dumpster's picture
i 2000+ points

Gracious! GottaGoGirl + Motherload = GottaGo Load. Everything I ever wanted to know about pinworms, but was afraid to ask.


i've had them for a while now.
and i am so embarassed to tell my mum.
i dont know what to do.

they are sooooo gross.
and i itch at night now.
and i know why.
so its not very easing.

another way to see if you have them is to, as gross as this sounds, stick a tampon up you butt. gross gross gross. but it gets the job done.

Bunga Din's picture
j 1000+ points

Paging Double Flush, Mr. Double Flush, get out of that freaking squirrel costume we have a woman after your heart here.

Mackenzie's picture

I noticed two white worms after wiping, thought I was going to freak out. Just so happens I was in the bathroom at CVS. I told the pharmacists that my child of nine had pinworms, and did they have any over the counter medication. I had to take 16 pills because of my weight. It also treats hookworms and roundworms. plus if you have any left over, it works on dogs, cats, horses and pigs.

Itchy Butt Man's picture

I've had pins since I was 7. I'm 23 now. My butt itches all the time. Sometimes at work I can actually feel the worms crawling out and then poking me! It's miserable. I finally got the guts up to goto the pharmacy and buy some medicine. So, I go to the consult window and there a cute girl working and about 6 or 7 people standing around waiting for prescriptions. So, I tell her my son has pin worms and will she please give me some Pin-X. (I don't have a son and am not married!) I thought it wouldn't be as embarrasing. Well, he yells back to the pharmasist and he says I need to take "my son" to the pediatrition. I was thing damn!! So, I said OK and then went to look for the medicine myself. I couldn't find it. I went to another pharmacy and didn't find it on the shelf and didn't have the guts to ask again. I guess I'll keep having to suffer!

Will and enema with salty water do anything to kill them? I'm desperate!!!

GottaGoGirl's picture
i 2000+ points

If you haven't been to a doctor, how do you know WHAT you have?

Wouldn't it be better to just GO to the doc?

Itchy Butt Man's picture

Well, I'm 99% pin worms. I've seen them before in my poop. I have sqwated over a mirriw before and have seen them moving around my hole. I've never had 'roids or anything like that.

One thing that does seem to help the itching at night is rubbing a generous heap of Cortaid Maximum Strength on my butt hole. I've tried other creams and they don't work. Only the Cortaid. I might have to go to the doctor. I'm sick and tired of this!!

The Dumpster's picture
i 2000+ points

If you have been living with this for 16 years and have been too embarrassed to go to the doctor, I would suggest that your first stop needs to be at a psychiatrist's office.

Anomalous Coward's picture
k 500+ points

L Lovelace reported that she lost her gag reflex about 38 posts ago. I think I found it...
Hey Itchy Butt Man, how long would you delay seeking medical attention if you got ole Willie One-eye caught in your zipper? Good god man.

Anonymous Coward's picture

OMG I just went to the toilet (I'm a teenager by the way) and I'm not sure why but I looked and there were these white thin things moving about in my poop!! I haven't been itchy I don't think but now I'm really freaked out! I cant talk to my mum so I'm just gonna have to deal with it but I'm spraying everything with cleaning stuff and ill change my bed sheets. Does anyone know how to get rid of them without seeing a doctor? and how long do they last?
Oh and there's blood as well, is this normal?

GottaGoGirl's picture
i 2000+ points

No. It's not.

Go tell your mother you need to see a doctor on Monday.


Clean your room first. Then tell her you need to see a doctor.

Bunga Din's picture
j 1000+ points

Wait, there's a Japanese film crew interested in your story, you wouldn't happen to keep eels as pets also, would you?

Anonymous Coward's picture

I'm the one who posted before (the teenager who found them last night) and for some reason theres no sign of them today :s anyone know why this is?

sienna's picture

People, you can totally have pinworm even if you can't see WORMS FALLING OUT OF YOUR ASS. I do. And let me tell you, if you have any of these symptoms people are desribing, get thee to a doctor and don't be shy about what you think you have. Apparently, my roommate and I have been suffering in silence for months, not telling each other our symptoms and when I told two different doctors, they told me to use softer toilet paper. Well, I'm a female, and I've since had a lovely bout of vaginitis and a UTI, and I can't help but think they were related to my doctors misdiagnosing the pinworm. UTIs, in case you don't know, can lead to much worse infections when gone untreated, so ladies, take care.

Bunga Din's picture
j 1000+ points

Hmmmm, pinworms, vaginitis and a urinary tract infection, you certainly are a find, bet you aren't too busy on weekends.

The Dumpster's picture
i 2000+ points

I dunno, Bunga; she sounds as busy as a stump full of ants to me.

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

Alright, Dumpster gets a plus one for making me get the dry heaves.
I used to think the shit-eating threads were the grossest on the site. Now I change my mind. This thread has to be the grossest one ever created on Poop Report. The comments on here are. GAG!!!

If a man farts and no one's around, does he make a sound?

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

werewolf pooping on trees's picture
l 100+ points

The scary thing is that I read that most people actually do have pinworms to some extent and don't even know because they have no symptoms. Personally, I think it would be scarier to have worms crawling around and not know about it than to itch a little at night. (Forgive me if I sound a bit rude, I've never had pinworms that I know of...)

...and they all lived crappily ever after!

...and they all lived crappily ever after!

Anonymous Coward's picture

I went the loo before and I saw some white things that I thought were moving. I'm 14 and I'm reallyyy ashamed and scared. I don't think I can tell me mum (too embarrassed) Can they go by themselves or must you get treated?? I'm scarredd =(

GottaGoGirl's picture
i 2000+ points

Do you have a friend's mom with whom you'd feel more comfortable asking? Even if it was to take you to the pharmacy and get some de-worming medicine.

Pin-Rid or Pin-X: the medicine in both of those is Pyrantel; you might also look for Vermox, which is Mebendazole. I don't know what's available in your area.

Turd Sandwich's picture

You can buy the pill to get rid of these worms from any good pharmacy including Walmart/Asda pharmacies etc. There is no need to go to the doctor if your too embarassed! They should be on the shelf at any good drug store. Fix your ass before it takes over the world!

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