Information about Syphilis – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & Prevention

Syphilis is a bacterial infection generally transmits by sexual contact. The disease begins as a painless sore typically on your genitals, rectum, or mouth. Syphilis spreads from person to person via skin or mucous membrane contact with these sores. After the primary infection, the syphilis bacteria can remain inactive in your body for decades before becoming active again. Primary syphilis can be cured, often with a single shot (injection). Without treatment, syphilis can seriously damage your heart, brain, or other organs and can be fatal. Syphilis can also be transferred from mothers to unborn children.

Symptoms of Syphilis

Syphilis arises in stages, and symptoms of Syphilis vary with every step. But the stages may overlap, and symptoms of Syphilis do not always happen in the same order. You may be affected by syphilis and not observe any symptoms for years.

Types of Syphilis

1) Primary syphilis
2) Secondary Syphilis
3) Latent Syphilis
4) Tertiary Syphilis
5) Neurosyphilis
6) Congenital Syphilis

Causes of Syphilis

Syphilis caused by a bacterium called Treponema pallidum. The most popular way of spreading is through contact with an affected person’s sore during sexual activity. The bacteria enter your body through minor cuts or abrasions in your skin or mucous membranes. Syphilis is contagious during its initial and secondary stages, and often in the initial latent period. This is the leading cause of Syphilis.
Less popularly, syphilis may transmit through direct unprotected close contact with an active lesion like during kissing or through affected mothers to their babies during pregnancy or childbirth.
Syphilis can not be transmitted by using the same toilet, bathtub, clothing, or eating utensils, or from doorknobs, swimming pools, or hot tubs. Once cured, syphilis does not come back on its own. However, you can become affected if you have contact with someone’s syphilis sore.

Syphilis Complications

Without treatment, syphilis complications can lead to injury throughout your body. Syphilis also progresses the risk of HIV infection and, for women, can make problems during pregnancy. Treatment can help to prevent future injury but can not repair or reverse the damage that has already happened. Other complications of Syphilis generate various problems like

1) Small bumps or tumors
2) Neurological problems
3) Cardiovascular problems
4) HIV infection
5) Pregnancy and childbirth complications

Diagnosis of Syphilis

Syphilis diagnosis is made by testing samples of:

1) Blood: Blood tests can ensure the presence of antibodies that the body generates to fight infection. The antibodies to the syphilis-causing bacteria evident in your body for years, so the test can be done to determine a current or past infection.
2) Cerebrospinal fluid: If it is suspected that you have nervous system problems of syphilis, the doctor may also recommend collecting a sample of cerebrospinal fluid through a process known as lumbar puncture.

Through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, your local health department provides partner services, which will help you to notify your sexual partners that they may be affected. That way, your partners can be tested and treated, and the transmission of syphilis can be limited.

Treatment of Syphilis

In the early stages, there is a treatment of Syphilis. It is possible to cure the disease in the primary step. The only remedy is medications and subsequent follow-up.

Syphilis Prevention mechanism

There is no vaccine for syphilis. To prevent the transmission of syphilis, follow these below suggestions:

1) Abstain from: The only apparent way to neglect syphilis is to abstain from sex. The next-best option is to have mutually monogamous sex in which both people have sex only with each other, and no one is affected.
2) Use a latex condom: Condoms can decrease your risk of contracting syphilis, but only if the condom covers the syphilis sores.
3) Avoid recreational drugs: Misuse of alcohol or other drugs can increase your judgment and lead to unsafe sexual habits.


Updated: January 15, 2020 — 12:05 pm

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