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Rev Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Winter;3(1):28-32.

Schistosomiasis: health effects on women.

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Department of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Harvard Medical School Boston, MA.


Schistosomiasis is a parasitic infection endemic in 74 resource-poor nations that affects approximately 200 million people. Schistosomes are water-borne flatworms or blood flukes that enter the human body through the skin. Some symptoms of schistosomiasis include fever, arthralgias, abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, and hematuria. Ultimately, patients develop heptosplenomegaly, ascites, and lymphadenopathy. Schistosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease, and its global health impact is grossly underestimated. Women suffer considerably from female genital schistosomiasis that causes infertility, preterm labor, anemia, menstrual disorders, and dyspareunia. More effort is needed to prevent schistosomiasis. Treating pregnant and lactating women decreases the disease burden and improves maternal and fetal outcome.


Female genital schistosomiasis; Praziquantel; Schistosomiasis


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