Schistosomiasis in women: manifestations in the upper reproductive tract

Helling-Giese G, Kjetland EF, Gundersen SG, Poggensee G, Richter J, Krantz I, Feldmeier H

Journal title: Acta tropica

Acta Trop. 1996 Dec;62(4):225-38

PMID: 9028408

Article on PubMed:


Female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) is a neglected disease entity which may give rise to considerable suffering among women of child-bearing age in areas where schistosomiasis (especially due to Schistosoma haematobium) is prevalent. The close relation between the vessels in genital organs and the urinary bladder enables the parasite to easily change location to virtually any organs in the female pelvic area. Symptoms concur with the anatomical location of worm pairs and their ova. Lesions of the lower female genital tract can easily be investigated by cytology, histology or direct demonstration of eggs in scrapings or biopsies whereas schistosomiasis of the upper genital tract is clinically indecipherable and less accessible for examination. In the literature there are references to FGS as a cause of infertility, complications of pregnancy, menstrual disorders, problems related to sexual intercourse, diagnostic similarities to STDs and cancer, unspecified complaints related to blood loss, chronic abdominal pain, social segregation and related psychological problems. The diagnosis of female upper genital schistosomiasis is difficult and the authors point out possible diagnostic procedures which might be helpful for further understanding of this complex entity.