- What Is It?
An infection caused by bacteria.
- How Can I Get It?
Sexual contact (vaginal, oral or anal) with someone who has syphilis.
- What Are the Symptoms?
Early Stage: Painless sore on the mouth, vagina, anus or elsewhere on the body. Without treatment the sore will go away in a couple of weeks but syphilis is still present in the body (many people with syphilis do not notice the sores).
- How Can I Know For Sure?
Sores are examined by your doctor, or a blood test can be ordered for syphilis.
- How Is It Treated?
Antibiotics or hospitalization may be necessary.
- What Can Happen If I Don’t Take Care Of It?
Second Stage: (6 weeks - 4 months after contact) new sores, rash, fever, hair loss, body aches, sore throat or swollen glands.
Third Stage: (years later) damage to heart and/or brain, a pregnant woman with syphilis can pass it onto the fetus, causing severe damage or death and can cause severe infection of the reproductive orgams (PID).