The Sciences

Where In the Body Have Leeches Been Found? Far Too Many Places

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Pop quiz: where in the human body have leeches been found?

A) Inside the nose B) Inside the ear C) Inside the urethra D) All of the above

If you answered “D”, then congratulations, you are correct! Blood sucking leeches may be used for valid medical reasons, but that doesn’t mean we have to feel good about case reports that vividly describe finding wild leeches in our orifices… especially our urethras and bladders. Here, doctors pulled a 9-cm leech out of a man’s urethra, an ordeal that took 10 days. And before you go ahead and say this is a single case, here is another article describing 43 additional leeches taken out of bladders. And how do you get a leech out of your bladder? The same way it got in: through the urethra. Ouch!

Reach the Leech: An Unusual Cause of Hematuria.

“Leeches are found in fresh water as well as moist marshy tropical areas. Orifical Hirudiniasis is the presence of leech in natural human orifices. Leech have been reported in nose, oropharynx, vagina, rectum and bladder but leech per urethra is very rare. We report a case of leech in urethra causing hematuria and bleeding disorder in the form of epistaxis and impaired clotting profile after use of stream water for ablution. The case was diagnosed after a prolonged diagnostic dilemma. Asingle alive leech was recovered from the urethra after ten days with the help of forceps. The hematuria and epistaxis gradually improved over next 48 hours and the patient became asymptomatic. Natives of leech infested areas should be advised to avoid swimming in fresh water and desist from drinking and using stream water without inspection for leeches.”

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