What is syphilis?

Syphilis is a common sexually transmitted infection caused by a bacteria usually spread through vaginal and anal sex. It starts as a painless sore, and can easily be transmitted to other people. A mother can also pass syphilis to a baby during pregnancy and childbirth.

What are the symptoms?

There may be times when one may not experience any symptoms at all, sometimes even for years. The symptoms can occur in stages and may vary with each stage.

The symptoms include:

  • Groin: Painless ulcers, sores, vaginal discharge or wart like growths on genitals
  • Skin: Rashes, small bumps or ulcers

Other common symptoms include fatigue, itching, mouth ulcers, rash on the palms and soles, sore throat and swollen lymph nodes.

If left untreated, syphilis will eventually cause serious health problems.

Should I get tested?

Yes, it is the only sure way to confirm if you have contracted syphilis. A health care provider will draw a blood sample to test you for syphilis.

How do I get treatment?

Syphilis is easy to cure. A doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. If you are on syphilis treatment, it is important for your sexual partners to be treated. Otherwise, you may get re-infected again.