Syphilis is a dangerous sexually transmitted disease that can lead to serious health consequences if left untreated. It’s a bacterial infection that unfolds in three stages, if not timely detected. It starts with lumps which develop to ulcers. The second stage brings rashes, accompanied by fever and a general feeling of ill. Ultimately, syphilis can attack other organs of your body including heart or brain and can even lead to death. It’s very important to be informed about how syphilis is transmitted and know how to protect yourself from this nasty condition.
Many myths are told about the Treponema pallidum bacterium, including some that talk about how syphilis spreads. They claim that you can get infested from shared clothing, lavatory seats, swimming pools, hot tubs and even shared objects. They’re probably promoted by cheating partners, which search for an easy excuse when they need to confess the STD diagnose with their loved ones.
No, syphilis doesn’t spread that easy! Most patients get infested during sexual intercourse. Yes, oral and anal sex are also common transmission channels. In very rare cases the Treponema pallidum can be passed via prolonged kissing. Basically, the disease is passed from person to person if an infested sore of a sufferer comes in direct contact with the mucous membrane of someone else. The danger lies in the fact that in the early stages the infested patient isn’t aware of his condition and most of his sores aren’t noticed right away.
I also have to mention congenital syphilis, which is of a very rare occurrence nowadays. It’s a type of syphilis that is passed on by infected mothers to their babies. Fortunately, nowadays pregnant women are tested for this disease and if they’re labeled positive, antibiotics treatment is administrated right away to cure the disease and eliminate the risks of delivering deaf, blind or babies with other abnormalities.
Did I contract Syphilis?
I surly hope that you’ll never have to ask yourself this question. However, in the worst case scenario you have to know the main symptoms of syphilis. The incubation period is widely spread between two weeks and 3 months.
– First Stage: causes round, medium-sized sores in the genital area and occasionally the mouth, nipples or any other common places of sexual contact. They have a red color, but can also be brown in dark-skinned patients. They can evolve into painless ulcers. The trick is thought that they heal completely without leaving any signs, even if no treatment is applied. This can leave you with the false impression that the condition has passed.
– Second Stage: develops a few months after the primary phase and can last between 30 – 90 days. It onsets with rash in palms and feet, fever, swollen glands and warts in the groin. This phase also passes by itself, without treatment.
– Third Stage: unfolds if no treatment has been applied and the infection continues to stay dormant. When reactivated, it will attack vital organs like brain and heart and cause nasty complications like impotence, blindness, dementia and even death.
Tip: It’s very important to visit a sexual health clinic if you have the slightest suspicion that you might have contracted syphilis. A simple blood test will confirm or infirm your fears.
How is Syphilis treated?
Happily this terrible disease is easily treated nowadays, with the help of penicillin. If the infection is detected during it’s first to stages a single shot of penicillin is in most cases enough to eradicate the bacteria. If you’re allergic to penicillin don’t despair. Doxycycline or tetracycline are also successfully curing this condition. For those that have the infection for a longer time a more elaborate treatment plan might be needed.
Tips:– refrain from any sexual contact until your doctor confirms that you are fully healed and not a health risk for your partner.
– wear a condom whenever you engage in sexual intercourse with a partner that you don’t have a health background of.