Intestinal parasites may be contracted by coming into contact with infected feces, usually by contaminated soil, food or water. Women who travel internationally or who frequently dine in restaurants, particularly at salad bars, are at a higher risk of contracting a parasite, according to Women to Women. Those infected with parasites may have no noticeable symptoms, or may experience uncomfortable digestive symptoms similar to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). (See References 1 and 4)
Women suffering from intestinal parasites may experience abdominal pain and tenderness, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. In some instances, abdominal or stomach pain may be accompanied by muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, gas or bloating. Additionally, women with parasites may experience a chronic sense of fullness and decrease in appetite, according to Women to Women. (See References 1 and 4)
Parasites that live in the intestinal tract can cause diarrhea in women or loose stools that contain blood and/or mucus, also known as dysentery. Women with parasites may notice one or more worms in their stool or may suffer from bouts of constipation. Other digestive symptoms of parasites may include indigestion, multiple food allergies and foul-smelling gas. Digestive issues caused by parasites may come and go sporadically, but typically do not completely clear up without medical treatment. (See References 1, 3 and 4)
Parasites can be responsible for additional symptoms, such as extreme or chronic fatigue, difficulty losing weight, a rash or itching around the rectum or vulva, fever, dizziness, difficulty sleeping or swelling around the eyes. Some parasites may be transmitted through sexual intercourse and can result in vaginal infections, as well as increase a woman's susceptibility to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Medical testing on a woman with parasites may also reveal anemia. (See References 2, 3 and 4)
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