Syphilis is a type of sexually transmitted infection that is caused by a type of bacteria known as Treponema Pallidum. One of the first signs of syphilis is a small and painless sore, which can appear in sexual organs, rectum, or inside the mouth. The sore is not always visible, so people do not notice it right away.
3 Different stages of syphilis infection
Syphilis infection has 4 stages, which are,
Syphilis is more infectious at the first two stages, so if you think you have the infection, go to your nearest clinic and ask your doctor to do a syphilis test
The primary stage comes after 3-4 weeks after a person gets affected by the bacteria. In this case, the sore will appear in one or several places and it can take up to 10 to 90 days for the sore to appear.
At the secondary stage, the patient may find skin rashes along with sores. Though the rashes won’t itch, usually found on the palms and soles, it can also appear at any part of the body.
At the secondary stage, you may see several other symptoms, like
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Sudden weight loss
- Hair loss
- Joint pain
The third stage is called the latent stage, where the primary and secondary symptoms will completely disappear, but the bacteria will remain in the body.
Only the people who didn’t receive any kind of treatment or didn’t go for the diagnosis will enter in this stage.
Some of the impacts of tertiary syphilis are,
- Mental illness
- Memory loss
- Soft tissue and bone destruction
- May become prone to stroke or meningitis
- Heart disease
When you will go to the doctor to get diagnosed for syphilis, they will take your blood samples and will conduct a physical examination. If a sore is there, the doctor might take some sample as well to check if syphilis bacteria present or not.
If your doctor encounters that you are suffering from nervous system problems for tertiary syphilis, they may prescribe a lumbar puncture. The process is conducted to take a spinal fluid sample to see if it is syphilis or anything else.
You can check for syphilis treatment during pregnancy to be sure if the bacteria present in your body or not. Earlier detection may help the female to save the fetus from infection, which can cause severe brain damage to the newborn.
Penicillin injection is used to treat primary and secondary syphilis. Penicillin is an effective antibiotic for curing syphilis, but there are several who are allergic to antibiotics and they can use the following alternatives,
During the treatment, try to stay away from any sexual activities with your partner or anyone. The doctor will tell you when it will be the right time, but until then don’t do it. This way, you may stop the infection from spreading while getting healthier.
People with syphilis have more chances of contracting HIV or the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. If you have the sore, it will be easier from the virus to enter your system. In such cases, the doctor might prescribe you pre or post exposure prophylaxis HIV.
The following measures can be taken to prevent syphilis:
- Use condoms during sex
- Don’t share sex toys
- Go for STI screening with your partner before having an intercourse