Helminthic therapy and pregnancy

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Hosting helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] while pregnant is commonplace and can be beneficial

Hosting helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] during pregnancy is commonplace, with approximately 44 million pregnancies occurring globally each year in women infected by helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths]. Link

Many medics have advocated de-worming pregnant women to prevent a range of supposed health risks, but studies have found that, where good antenatal care is provided, de-worming produces no benefits in respect of anaemia, birth weight, perinatal mortality, infant mortality or infant response to immunisation. Link, Link

Both mother and child benefit when a small number of helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] are hosted during pregnancy

Prenatal exposure to parasiteAn organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits at the host’s expense. (The organisms used in helminthic therapy are, strictly speaking, not parasites, but mutualists, because they have a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship with their hosts.) antigens impacts on the strength and width of postnatal immune responsiveness without generating aberrant inflammatory immune responses. Neonates not exposed to parasiteAn organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits at the host’s expense. (The organisms used in helminthic therapy are, strictly speaking, not parasites, but mutualists, because they have a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship with their hosts.) antigens have inappropriately increased or decreased gene expression profiles. Link

Current epidemiological findings suggest that prenatal exposure to helminth infection may have an important effect on the development of the foetal immune response and that this might help prevent the emergence of inflammatory conditions such as allergy. Link

A study in mice indicates that helminth infection during pregnancy may reduce the susceptibility of the offspring to allergic airway inflammation. Link

Helminth infection in the perinatal period protects children from the neurological damage that can accompany bacterial infections, and this protection extends into adulthood. Link

Antenatal maternal helminth infections are associated with modestly increased IgA responses to oral infant vaccines. Link

Sepsis, a condition that is hard to recognise and treat, is an increasing cause of complications and death among women in the West, and rates of severe and fatal sepsis during labor and delivery are rising sharply, such that sepsis is now the leading cause of direct maternal death in the UK. Link

As a helminth infection counterbalances the exacerbated pro-inflammatory immune responses that occur during sepsis, thus improving survival, it is arguable that the presence of a small colony of therapeutic helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] might actually prevent a woman developing sepsis. Link

As helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] control inflammation, commencing helminthic therapyThe reintroduction to the digestive tract of a controlled number of specially domesticated, mutualistic helminths (intestinal worms) in the form of microscopic eggs or larvae to reconstitute a depleted biome to treat and prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy. prior to pregnancy might help women who have autoimmune disorders such as colitis stay healthy during their pregnancy. Link

Terminating a helminth infection during pregnancy may do more harm than good

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HelminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] are more likely to be associated with negative outcomes (in pregnancy) when they occur with comorbid conditions, such as malaria or nutritional deficits. Yet in these cases, treating the comorbid condition may be more beneficial than treating the helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths]. In the absence of such confounding factors or evidence of confounds, such as severe anemia, treatment may impose more costs than benefits, for example, by increasing the risk of infant eczema. Treatment may also have additional unanticipated effects by altering maternal blood glucose regulation, microbiotaThe specific population of microorganisms living in a certain part of the body, such as the gut. "Microbiome" refers to all the microorganisms living in and on the body, or the genome of these microorganisms. These two terms are often used interchangeably., or hormonal environment. Abstract / Full text

Reports by women who hosted a small number of helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] while pregnant

One woman who examined all the available evidence on the risks and benefits of hosting helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] during pregnancy came to the following conclusion.

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I got hookwormA helminth that lives in the small intestine. Necator americanus (NA) is the only hookworm species used in helminthic therapy. Its microscopic larvae are applied periodically to the skin. (and just a couple of whipwormsA helminth with a tapering whiplike body that lives in the colon. In helminthic therapy, the microscopic eggs of either the human Trichuris trichiura (TTO) or pig Trichuris suis (TSO) are taken in a drink.) to help keep my immune system in check during my next pregnancy, since my first kid is on the autism spectrum. From my research it seems safe in low doses and can prevent allergy in offspring, another reason I decided to go for this. Not pregnant yet, just planning.

And she reported, at a later date:

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I hosted whipwormA helminth with a tapering whiplike body that lives in the colon. In helminthic therapy, the microscopic eggs of either the human Trichuris trichiura (TTO) or pig Trichuris suis (TSO) are taken in a drink. and hookwormA helminth that lives in the small intestine. Necator americanus (NA) is the only hookworm species used in helminthic therapy. Its microscopic larvae are applied periodically to the skin. during 2 term pregnancies. The first baby is 2 years old and is free of allergies and autoimmunity, unlike the older sibling who was sick since birth. [Link]

(Note. This individual needed iron infusions during both pregnancies, which could have been due to her taking the iron chelator, alpha lipoic acid, in one pregnancy and experiencing hyperemesis gravidarium in the other.)

Another mother reported:

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I hosted hookwormA helminth that lives in the small intestine. Necator americanus (NA) is the only hookworm species used in helminthic therapy. Its microscopic larvae are applied periodically to the skin. while pregnant with my second and had no issues. Link

Someone else, who had previously had two children with severe eosinophilic esophagitis-related food intolerances, maintained a hookwormA helminth that lives in the small intestine. Necator americanus (NA) is the only hookworm species used in helminthic therapy. Its microscopic larvae are applied periodically to the skin. colony throughout her next pregnancy and delivered a healthy, allergy-free baby. Link

The question of whether to introduce helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] during pregnancy

Notwithstanding the benefits to be gained by establishing a helminth colony before becoming pregnant, and the lack of any indication that the organisms currently used in helminthic therapyThe reintroduction to the digestive tract of a controlled number of specially domesticated, mutualistic helminths (intestinal worms) in the form of microscopic eggs or larvae to reconstitute a depleted biome to treat and prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy. can harm a developing foetus, the possible risks of commencing helminthic therapyThe reintroduction to the digestive tract of a controlled number of specially domesticated, mutualistic helminths (intestinal worms) in the form of microscopic eggs or larvae to reconstitute a depleted biome to treat and prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy. for the first time during pregnancy are unknown, and two hookwormA helminth that lives in the small intestine. Necator americanus (NA) is the only hookworm species used in helminthic therapy. Its microscopic larvae are applied periodically to the skin. hosts have commented as follows:

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“If it were me, I would feel comfortable infecting myself with helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] for the first time before a pregnancy but not during. Link
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I made the decision not to inoculate during either of my pregnancies - the first because I didn't have an existing colony and I was worried about the heightened immune response triggering heightened immune responses in my child as well as my ability to take any medications to manage the side effects; the second because I already had an existing colony and felt well enough that I was happy to wait. Link

If a woman were to start helminthic therapyThe reintroduction to the digestive tract of a controlled number of specially domesticated, mutualistic helminths (intestinal worms) in the form of microscopic eggs or larvae to reconstitute a depleted biome to treat and prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy. while pregnant, and have a miscarriage, or encounter a problem with the new baby, they, or their healthcare providers, might blame the helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths], and legal action could be taken against whoever supplied them. Since providers of therapeutic helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] must act with this possibility in mind, they would be very unlikely to supply helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] to anyone who is already pregnant.

Five of the helminth providers recommend waiting until after pregnancy before starting helminthic therapyThe reintroduction to the digestive tract of a controlled number of specially domesticated, mutualistic helminths (intestinal worms) in the form of microscopic eggs or larvae to reconstitute a depleted biome to treat and prevent chronic inflammation, autoimmune disease and other immunological disorders including allergy..

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In lack of appropriate clinical studies, this supplement should, however, not be taken during pregnancy. Tanawisa
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If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant soon after starting therapy we will not provide hookwormA helminth that lives in the small intestine. Necator americanus (NA) is the only hookworm species used in helminthic therapy. Its microscopic larvae are applied periodically to the skin. to you. Autoimmune Therapies
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Since, this therapy is so new we do not know the effects on the fetus so we do not treat women who are pregnant. Worm Therapy
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Due to a lack of clinical research we would not recommend the treatment for pregnant women. Wormswell
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Due to the lack of clinical data, anyone who is pregnant would need to wait until after the child is born before beginning the treatment. Symmbio

And one provider recommends supervision by a physician.

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If someone wishes to begin to restore their biome while pregnant, they should do so under a physician’s supervision. Biome Restoration

(Note: if a woman who fell pregnant while hosting human helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] wished to terminate the colony, it had been suggested that it would be best to avoid using mebendazole for this purpose. However, a 2016 study has found no association between exposure to mebendazole at any time during pregnancy and negative birth outcomes. [Link] An alternative option for terminating a human helminth colony might be to inhale a few lungfuls of nitrous oxide from a whipped cream or other pressurised food dispenser, although, like mebendazole, this may not be effective in all cases.)

Discussion threads about helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] and pregnancy

Pregnancy and hookwormsA helminth that lives in the small intestine. Necator americanus (NA) is the only hookworm species used in helminthic therapy. Its microscopic larvae are applied periodically to the skin.. Sept 2010. Link

2. Thinking of inoculating while pregnant. Aug/Sept 2011. Link

3. Experiences of pregnancy as a current or recent helminth host. Sept 2013. Link

4. A doctor’s concern about a hookwormA helminth that lives in the small intestine. Necator americanus (NA) is the only hookworm species used in helminthic therapy. Its microscopic larvae are applied periodically to the skin.-hosting pregnant patient. Dec 2016. Link

HelminthAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths]-friendly support group for mums-to-be

There is a secret Facebook group, Preventing Autism and Autoimmunity in Babies, where the use of therapeutic helminthsAn intestinal worm which grows large enough to be seen with the naked eye when mature but which is microscopic when administered in helminthic therapy. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminths Wikipedia:Helminths] before and during pregnancy is discussed and encouraged. To join this group, send a private message and friend request to the group’s founder, Sarah, via her Facebook page.

Disclaimer

The information in this document is offered for informational purposes only. It is not intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of any disease, nor as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional. It has not been approved or evaluated by any governmental organisation concerned with the regulation of healthcare or drugs anywhere in the world. The accuracy, validity, effectiveness, completeness or usefulness of this information cannot be guaranteed. Anyone who chooses to make use of this information does so at their own risk and no responsibility or liability whatsoever is accepted for the use or misuse of this information by others.


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