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The Disease of Syphilis

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Syphilis is an STI (sexually transmitted infection) caused by the bacteria Treponema pallidum. It can be transmitted through sexual contact or from a mother to her child during pregnancy. If left untreated, it can result in serious harm to important body parts such as the brain, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones, and joints, and can even be fatal.

What is the prevalence of Syphilis?

Annually, across the globe, there are 10 million newly reported cases. In developed nations, particularly among individuals engaging in unprotected sexual activities, Syphilis has experienced an increase in prevalence in recent times.

What are the ways to contract Syphilis?

The transmission of Syphilis occurs through direct contact with a Syphilis sore (also known as Chancre) during unprotected sexual activities such as vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Additionally, it can be transmitted from a pregnant mother to her unborn child. It should be noted that sharing clothing, using swimming pools or toilet seats, or sharing eating utensils cannot lead to the transmission of Syphilis.

Is it possible to contract Syphilis even if I am not sexually active?

The transmission of syphilis is primarily linked to engaging in unprotected sexual activities, such as oral, anal, and vaginal contact with an infected individual. However, it is possible for the infection to spread through non-sexual interactions as well.

  • Transmission from mother to child during pregnancy
  • Transplants of organs or skin
  • Transfusions of blood
  • Medical personnel

How can Syphilis be recognized?

The progression of a Syphilis infection is categorized into four stages: primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary, with the associated signs and symptoms varying based on the stage of the infection. Typically, the symptoms of Syphilis in the primary stage appear within 10 days to 3 months after exposure to the infection. These symptoms include:

  • No-pain wounds or ulcers (located in the mouth, anus, or genitals)
  • The lymph nodes have increased in size at the location of the infection.

During the secondary stage of syphilis, symptoms typically manifest 2-10 weeks after the primary symptoms. Some of the symptoms that may appear during the secondary stage include:

A skin rash appearing on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.

Lesions located in the oral cavity, rectum, or vaginal canal.

  • Throat discomfort
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Tiredness
  • Sore muscles
  • Migraines
  • Enlarged lymph nodes

If left untreated, Syphilis can progress to a latent stage where the symptoms may disappear and the infection remains dormant for years. However, the bacteria responsible for the disease will still be present in the body.

The third stage of Syphilis can lead to serious health problems that pose a threat to one’s life, such as:

  • Visual Impairment
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Cognitive Decline
  • Injury to the bone
  • Harm to the nervous system
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Cerebrovascular accidents

What is the appropriate time to undergo Syphilis testing?

It is possible for Syphilis to go unnoticed during its initial stages. The indicators during the secondary stage can also resemble those of other diseases. If you have engaged in unprotected sexual activity with multiple partners, had sexual contact with an individual who may have had Syphilis, are a male who has sex with other males, or are a sex worker, or pregnant, it is recommended to get tested for Syphilis. It may be beneficial to undergo testing before engaging in sexual activity with a new partner.

What is the process for getting tested for Syphilis?

Test4STI offers the opportunity to take control of your sexual health through their testing services. The process is quick, easy, and not invasive. Typically, a blood sample is used for Syphilis testing. However, in some cases, it can also be identified by analyzing bodily fluid samples or taking a swab of any visible sores or Chancres. If your physician suspects a Syphilis infection in your central nervous system, they may also collect a sample of cerebrospinal fluid through a lumbar puncture.

To schedule a test with Test4STI, simply contact our Sexual Health Advisory team using the number provided or book online by clicking the Get Started button.

What are the potential consequences of not treating Syphilis?

Failure to treat syphilis can result in harm to various areas of the body and potential damage to vital organs, posing a serious threat to one’s life and potentially leading to death. The consequences of untreated syphilis can vary depending on the stage of the disease, and may encompass:

  • Indications of Primary Syphilis may consist of painless sores or ulcers.
  • Symptoms of secondary syphilis include flu-like symptoms such as fever, rash, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue.
  • In the case of latent syphilis, there are no evident symptoms. However, the infection can still result in harm to vital organs such as the brain, heart, and nervous system.
  • Late-stage Syphilis: Loss of vision, hearing, cardiovascular issues, and potential fatality.

What are the potential impacts of Syphilis on a pregnant individual and their infant?

The health of pregnant women and their unborn child can be negatively affected by syphilis. It can be transmitted from the mother to the baby through the placenta during pregnancy. Additionally, if the baby comes into contact with a syphilis sore during delivery, they can also become infected. Research shows that pregnant women with syphilis are at a higher risk of experiencing miscarriage, stillbirth, and even infant mortality.

Pregnant individuals should be tested for syphilis during their pregnancy in order to promptly receive treatment and safeguard the well-being of their child.

If I receive a positive Syphilis test result, what should I do?

The infection known as Syphilis can be effectively cured by taking a course of antibiotics. In the event of a positive test result, Test4STI will organize a consultation with our doctors to discuss the various treatment options available. To receive the necessary medical treatment, please contact the number provided at the top of the page. If you prefer to consult with your own doctor, we can assist in sending them all your test results to ensure a seamless experience. It is important to note that even after the symptoms have vanished, unprotected sexual activity during the treatment for Syphilis can still spread the infection to others. Therefore, it is advised to abstain from sexual intercourse until the treatment is completed.

For optimal results, it is advised to undergo a follow-up test after completing your treatment to confirm the effectiveness of the medication. It is also important to inform your past sexual partners about the possibility of them being infected and encourage them to get tested in order to stop the spread of the infection. Keep in mind that Test4STI provides all our patients with a special Partner Notification tool, which allows you to discreetly inform individuals who may have been exposed to an STI.

What is the treatment for Syphilis?

At the initial stage, the treatment for Syphilis typically involves either a single shot of antibiotic or a series of antibiotics taken orally. The specific type and length of antibiotic therapy vary depending on the stage of the Syphilis infection. In advanced stages, individuals may require intravenous (IV) antibiotics if the infection has spread to the brain or spinal cord. In such cases, the doctor will recommend the appropriate medication for the infection. Test4STI offers the option of scheduling a private appointment with a doctor. Alternatively, you can consult with a doctor of your preference.

Is it possible for Syphilis to return?

It is advised to undergo another test for Syphilis two weeks after completing the treatment in order to ensure that the infection has been completely eradicated.

Given that Syphilis can be contracted multiple times, it is crucial to take steps to lower your chances of getting infected again. It is also necessary to inform your past sexual partners so that they can also get tested. To minimize the likelihood of a repeat infection, it is recommended to use condoms during every sexual encounter, avoid engaging in sexual activity with individuals exhibiting symptoms of Syphilis, and encourage your partners to undergo testing. If you suspect that you have been reinfected, it is advisable to undergo a Syphilis retest.

What is the timeframe for resuming sexual activity after receiving treatment for Syphilis?

It is important to refrain from engaging in sexual activity until your treatment is complete, regardless of whether you are experiencing any symptoms. This precaution is necessary to avoid transmitting Syphilis to your sexual partner(s).

What is the process for scheduling a Syphilis test?

Test4STI is a renowned company that specializes in offering private sexual health testing services globally. Our top priority is to provide efficient and precise testing, ensuring that you can have peace of mind.

To schedule a test with Test4STI, you can contact our Sexual Health Advisory team at the provided number. Our knowledgeable Patient Services staff will assist you in choosing the appropriate test and arranging any necessary follow-up appointments. Alternatively, you can book your test online by clicking on the Get Started button.

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