Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease and can be uncomfortable in the beginning and life-threatening if left untreated. It passed by from one person to another due to unprotected sexual intercourse. Also, there are cases when the bacteria triggering Syphilis can stay in a latent state in the body for several years, before becoming fully active and start doing damage in the organism. If you know you have unprotected intimate relationships, do get yourself checked out. In case Syphilis is discovered in an early manner, it can be efficiently treated.
Symptoms of Syphilis
Syphilis can be painful disease, because it causes open sores in our bodies. The most frequent areas where these sores appear are the mouth, genital areas, and rectum. Besides producing pain and being uncomfortable, these sores are an opened door for other bacteria and viruses, which may lead to infections in the body. Also, other people might get infected with the Syphilis bacteria in case they come in contact with the sores. Syphilis has a number of stages, based on the severity of illness so that symptoms can be accordingly.
Besides the sore, also known as a chancre, a swelling of the lymph nodes might occur. You should also know that the chancre will heal itself, even without treatment, from 3 to 6 weeks, but the bacteria are still in your body, and it represents a risk. As Syphilis advances, the sores turn reddish-brown, and pus may appear, or they might look as warts. In case you have darker skin, patches that are of a lighter color will appear.
If left untreated for an extended period, a person might experience a high fever, weakness, headaches, neck stiffness, loss in weight, sore throat, hair will fall in patches, the lymph nodes will swell and damages of the nervous system may occur.
Syphilis symptoms in men
In men, the sores are more likely to appear on the penis or the groin area. It may look like a rash or a small wart. Discharges are sometimes experienced as well. Still, the genital area is not the only one where chancres may appear. An infected person can have them on the rectum, lips or even the tongue. Also, they can be many in one place, or you may find only one chancre. Regardless of their number, it is a sign that the Syphilis bacteria may be installed in your body.
Symptoms of Syphilis in women
In women, symptoms may be a bit more hidden because chancres can appear in the inner part of the vagina or at the opening of the cervix. Since they are not in reach and may not cause a noticeable discomfort, these sores may not trigger the attention of the infected woman. Still, chancres can occur on the outer side of the genital area as well, a moment when they can be noticed. And, just like in the case of men, they can appear on other parts of the body as well, as the mouth, tongue or anus.
There are a lot of ways to test a person for Syphilis. Blood, body fluid or tissue, they can all represent excellent samples to determine whether the Syphilis bacteria is present or not. In case one test turns out positive, another one is performed in order to confirm the first results. If you know you have unprotected sexual relationships with someone you don’t know or trust, do go and get tested.
The more time it passes, the more severe the symptoms will become and the treatment will become more complicated. Also, untreated Syphilis can lead to heart diseases, damage to the brain, damage to the spinal cord and complete blindness.
So don’t think twice and get tested, in case you have a sexual adventure. The sooner you discover the bacteria, the faster it will be treated and you will be left without any side-effects of the illness. Also, if you test positive, try to track down your partner and tell him or her about the situation. You may both stop the spreading of the Syphilis bacteria to each other and get rapid and efficient treatment.
Don’t forget that Syphilis has a latent form as well. It means the chancres may appear and then disappear, making you think they are cured. But Syphilis is still present even so, and will come out again and do a lot more damage. An early testing can save your health and well-being.
The treatment of Syphilis is very simple, with the condition that the disease is found promptly. The preferred treatment is injectable penicillin. To have an idea of the power of this treatment, you should know that a single shot of penicillin may stop the evolution of Syphilis. But only if the person has less than one year since he had been infected. In case you are allergic to penicillin, other antibiotics may be used. Also, penicillin is the only treatment agreed in the case of pregnant women. In case the mother had Syphilis during pregnancy, the newborn will also undertake an antibiotic treatment as well.
After the treatment, you will have to do periodic blood tests, to make sure your body is responding well to the treatment. So you should avoid any sexual contact until your blood is clean and shows no trace of the Syphilis bacteria. It would also be wise to let your intimate partners know about the situation so that they can be tested as well and take the treatment.
Since Syphilis is transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse, you should stick to a single partner, which you know to be safe and free of the Syphilis bacteria. One night stands can increase the risk considerable to contact the bacteria since it can spread through regular sex, oral or anal sex. Always use a condom if you are not sure about the partner. Still, the condom may not be useful if it cannot cover the sores on the body and you end up coming in contact with them. Also, remember that chancres appear in the mouth, tongue and other parts of the body, this is why condoms might not protect you always.
Congenital Syphilis concerns the babies born by a mother that was infected with Syphilis. The illness is transmitted through the placenta or at the moment of birth, from the mother to the child. In the majority of the cases, newborn babies do not present any symptoms. Some may have mild rashes on the palms or feet. Still, if the child is not treated, he is exposed to becoming deaf, to have deformed teeth or to have the bridge of the nose collapse. So a mother suffering from Syphilis should be treated, and her baby treated as well, to avoid more complicated symptoms.