During the late stages of syphilis, serious symptoms appear.
This phase applies to patients who did not seek treatment for a long time, or 10 to 20 years after they first contracted the disease.
Complications at this point include:
- Damage to the nervous system
- Brain damage
What are the risk factors in contracting syphilis? Those at higher are those who:
- Have unprotected sex
- Have numerous sex partners
- Are infected with HIV
- Are men who have sex with other men
Babies can also get syphilis from infected mothers. Most of these babies are asymptomatic. Some may show a rash on their palms or soles of their feet. Complications that can develop later are:
- Liver that is enlarged
- Nose discharge
- Swollen glands
- Abnormalities in the bone
- Brain-related problems
See the pediatrician at once if you notice a discharge, sore, or rash around the groin.
How do I avoid contracting syphilis?
The best way is to refrain from vaginal, anal and oral sex.
It is important to practice safe sex. And it is also essential to get regular tests for sexually transmitted disease (STDs).
If you do contract this condition, do not panic. Syphilis can easily be cured. Make sure others do not get infected by:
- Admitting to your past and present partners that you are infected, so they can undergo a confirmatory test for syphilis, and treatments as well
- Refraining from having sex with anyone until you have completed treatment and the sores are fully healed
- Your sex partner is treated before he or she gets intimate with you or anyone again
- Wear a condom every time you resume sexual activity after your treatment program is over
How do I get treated for syphilis?
After undergoing a confirmatory test for syphilis, your health practitioner will recommend antibiotics – usually penicillin. In most cases, your sex partner must also undergo similar treatment.
Things to remember:
- Take all medication in the manner your doctor prescribes, even if symptoms disappear earlier during treatment
- Refrain from sexual activity until you and your partner are done with treatment to avoid reinfection.
- Don’t share medication with anyone. You and your partner should get separate doses of penicillin.
- Note that reinfection can happen after treatment. Use condoms and/or dental dams on a regular basis. Get yourself tested now and then.
Syphilis can easily be cured, but prevention remains best practice. Speak to your doctor in case a confirmatory test for syphilis becomes necessary.
Learn more about sexually transmitted diseases, here.