Syphilis

What is syphilis?

Syphilis is an infection contracted by bacteria known as treponema pallidum. It can be contracted through sexual intercourse, anal and oral sex, and can also be passed on through bodily contact. It can also be transferred through a blood transfusion, which is why people are always tested for such infections when giving blood. A pregnant woman can also pass it on to her baby.

Symptoms of syphilis

Initial symptoms include painless sores found on the body, though typically in the genital area, which are quite infectious. Then, the condition can bring about a highly infectious rash, warts on the vulva for women, warts on the anus and even symptoms associated with the flu. Syphilis can, if left untreated for many years, result in harm to the brain, heart and eyes and can even lead to death, though this is rare in the UK.

What treatment is available for syphilis?

Testing involves a blood test, and an examination of the genital region and other areas affected. A sample from the secretion produced by sores may also be attained with a swab. Testing should be sought immediately if you notice any of the symptoms. Early stages of the condition will be treated with antibiotics, whether it is an injection or pill, with penicillin the most typically used type. Partners should also be treated. There is the chance that antibiotics will affect the performance of the contraceptive patch and pill.

If you leave it…

Syphilis can lead to heart and brain difficulty, and can even lead to death if left untreated.

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