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What is Syphilis?

Syphilis is a bacterial infection that spreads most often due to sexual contacts. It’s caused by the bacteria named infection spirochete Treponema pallidume. It generally infects the body through the broken skin or mucous membranes.

Syphilis has three stages:

  • Primary syphilis
  • Secondary syphilis
  • Tertiary syphilis (the late phase of the illness)

Primary Syphilis is a bigger concern as the other two stages could hardly be reached due to reasons like Free STD testing, Public alertness about STIs, Prenatal screening s etc.

What are the symptoms of Syphilis in men?

The primary stage of syphilis occurs in about 3-4 weeks after being infected by the bacteria. During the Primary stage of Syphilis small sores can be observed on or inside your mouth, genitals, or rectum. These sores are highly infectious

As it advances further (Secondary syphilis), the patient may  feel the following things

  • Rashes on palm and sole
  • Moist warts on privates
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle aches
  • Hair loss
  • Join pain

The last stage of Syphilis is called as tertiary syphilis. It is estimated that around 10 to 15% people who don’t receive treatment for Syphilis enter this stage. It also can occur in years of contracting syphilis and potentially life-threatening. Some of its effects include the following

  • Mental illness
  • blindness
  • stroke or meningitis
  • deafness
  • memory loss
  • heart diseases etc
*Also refer to question

Also read: STD Syphilis in Pregnancy

What can happen if the Syphilis goes untreated?

If left untreated for long, that is in the third stage, syphilis can lead to heart trouble causing disease in the valve, neurosyphilis which is a central nervous system disorder, tumor on Skin liver, bones.

How is Syphilis diagnosis in men?

Syphilis is diagnosed by taking blood or urine sample. Physical examination will also be conducted. If there are warts or sores on the body doctor will take a sample of it. A doctor may also check for nervous system problem if he suspects that the disease has reached the third stage (Tertiary syphilis) and if required, can put you on a spinal tap, or lumbar puncture.

How Is Syphilis Treated?

Primary and secondary Syphilis can be treated using Penicillin (an antibody). People allergic to Penicillin can also be put on other alternative antibodies like doxycycline, azithromycin, or ceftriaxone.

How to Prevent yourself from Syphilis?

  • Sexual Abstinence
  • Always use of  Latex condom
  • Avoid recreational Drugs

Syphilis in women

In women, chancres can develop on the outer genitals or on the inner part of genitals. They may just be ignored if develops inside the vagina.

Swelling of lymph node may be observed in the area where chancres has developed

Although chances are, the visible spot they don’t require any treatment to cure but may leave some scares on the place they have grown. Its effects include severe neurological impairment, bone and tooth problems, and skin conditions even death within minutes/ days/week after the birth.

Congenital syphilis is one of the most dangerous forms of syphilis affecting a child from its mother during pregnancy.


What can happen if the Syphilis goes untreated in women?

In addition to the effect mentioned above Syphilis when left untreated in Pregnant women can lead to Congenital syphilis which can pass from mother to baby while in labor and delivery which can lead to various complications. That is why std testing is recommended during pregnancy

Also see: Pictures of Syphilis rashes symptoms, syphilis chancre appearing as normal rash in the form of Syphilis