Syphilis is caused by the spirochetes or bacteria called Treponema pallidum which is a fancy name but it’s also known as this is what causes syphilis infection.
How is Syphilis transmitted?
Syphilis is extremely infectious and is spread very easily. Like all STD is it is most commonly spread by the following means.
- oral sex
- vaginal sex
- anal sex
But it’s actually very easily spread by oral sex which is not that similar to other STDs.
How common is Syphilis?
Many people think it’s a disease of the medieval times and many famous figures over the years have been had been diagnosed with syphilis and many people think this list has disappeared, it’s far from disappeared. Most developed cities in the world are currently experiencing an epidemic of syphilis infection. Most common amongst men whose sex of men (MSM). Also among other high-risk groups such as commercial sex workers etc.
How do you know if you have Syphilis?
First signs of Syphilis
The real problem with this infection is that when you first get in sex with syphilis, it’s mostly
- painless: so there’s no pain
- Chancre or an ulcer: is developed
At the size of infection and this can occur anywhere in the body. Obviously, as mentioned before, it’s most commonly going to occur in and around
- lips area or the tongue because of oral sex
- the vagina or vulva because of the journal set
- the anal area because of anal sex
However, it can occur anywhere and I’ve often seen Ulcer on the chest wall or any other part of the body because that’s where you first came into contact with your sexual partner. Now, the difficulty with this is this is called primary syphilis.
When you first have the ulcer or the chancre, but as mentioned it’s painless. So patients often don’t see it and you’re especially not going to see it if inside your mouth or inside your vagina or inside your anal etc. That’s the difficulty, so it goes from primary syphilis to secondary syphilis.
That’s more the more common stage of syphilis get to discover that and that can occur anywhere between two months after infection up to six months after infection.
What is Secondary syphilis and its signs?
Secondary syphilis is in effect when syphilis is spread all over the body. Its signs are as follows.
- You most commonly get a rash,
- a rash on the soles of your feet
- Rash on the palms of your hand is the classic place to give a syphilitic rash.
- you also get a pink and fading rash on your torso or your chest
- you may also develop headaches because of a secondary neurosyphilis
- dizziness or hearing the problems
- you may have swollen lymph glands under your arms or in your throat
so there’s a variety of symptoms of secondary syphilis and that’s why it’s called a multi-systems disease because it can affect many different systems.
What is tertiary syphilis or third stage of syphilis & its signs?
The third stage of syphilis is what we call Tertiary our particular third stage and this is the more dangerous
stage of syphilis. This is when syphilis infection goes dormant or goes quiet for many years. This can be anywhere from 10 years to 30 years. In the olden days before we had adequate and good treatment on tests for syphilis. It
caused serious damage.
So tertiary or third stage syphilis
- can affect your brain
- it can cause dementia or Alzheimer’s type 2 disease
- you can also affect your heart arteries
- It can cause aneurysms
- also effects your bones
So, it can be a very serious infection when it’s out of the third stage. Thankfully in USA, we have excellent testing centers near you for syphilis and it never gets that far and of course we have excellent treatment for syphilis.
How is Syphilis diagnosed?
Syphilis is most diagnosed by a blood test. Occasionally it is also diagnosed with a swab of the chancre or the ulcer which was mentioned earlier. But the most common way of diagnosing syphilis is to a blood test.
How is Syphilis treated?
The fortunate thing about syphilis, unlike gonorrhea, syphilis strangely has not become resistant to antibiotics. It’s still fully sensitive to penicillin this is terrific news because it makes the treatment of syphilis really easy.
However, syphilis treatment must be given through an injection in the bottom. If you have an infection that’s less than two years old one injection in the bottom, if this surface infection is greater than two years, you may need up to three weeks of treatment and injections in your bone which is one injection per week, over three weeks.
There are some tablet versions for people who may be allergic to penicillin. We have other treatments antibiotics for
example doxycycline, that we also can use but that would be a decision between your doctor and yourself.
If you get treated for syphilis, do you always have it?
The answer is no, so it’s not like herpes. It is like chlamydia and gonorrhea so it’s a bacteria, not a virus. So when you treat it, it is gone. The only unusual thing about syphilis is that when you test for syphilis if you’ve been completely treated for it and properly treated for it, you always test positive in your blood in the future. So your doctor may in the future say to you have you ever been treated for syphilis in the past and you can simply say, yes. A couple of years ago I got one injection or three injections and your doctor would be perfectly happy. So unlike chlamydia and gonorrhea, it always shows a positive in your blood. But that does not mean that you still have it. It is completely treated it’s gone.
How can I get myself checked for Syphilis, with accurate test results?
So, in summary, if you’re worried at all about any of the infections or any of units as we’ve discussed, feel free to write to us at [email protected]
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