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Syphilis: Causes, Symptom, and Treatment

Our clinic is located in the heart of the Kuta area and is within the reach of the tourist areas of Seminyak and Nusa Dua.

2019-08-02
Nice to Know

Syphilis: Causes, Symptom, and Treatment

by Dhani Anggara, MD

SYPHILIS

This week is the final series of discussions on STD disease groups. KMC Clinic health article readers may review the series of STD group disease articles that we have begun discussing almost 1 month ago. This week we will discuss syphilis as the closing series of STD discussions.

Syphilis is a bacterial infection usually spread by sexual contact. The disease starts as a painless sore — typically on your genitals, rectum or mouth. Syphilis spreads from person to person via skin or mucous membrane contact with these sores.

After the initial infection, the syphilis bacteria can lie dormant in your body for decades before becoming active again. Early syphilis can be cured, sometimes with a single injection of penicillin. Without treatment, syphilis can severely damage your heart, brain or other organs, and can be life-threatening, or be passed from mother to an unborn child.

 

How do you get syphilis?

Syphilis is spread from sexual skin-to-skin contact with someone who has it. You get it when your vulva, vagina, penis, anus, or mouth touches someone’s syphilis sores — usually during sex. Syphilis can be spread even if no one cums.

 

Symptoms of syphilis in adults vary by stage:

Primary Stage: During the first (primary) stage of syphilis, you may notice a single sore or multiple sores. The sore is the location where syphilis entered your body.

Secondary Stage: During the secondary stage, you may have skin rashes and/or mucous membrane lesions. Mucous membrane lesions are sores in your mouth, vagina, or anus. This stage usually starts with a rash on one or more areas of your body. The rash can show up when your primary sore is healing or several weeks after the sore has healed.

Latent Stage: The latent stage of syphilis is a period of time when there are no visible signs or symptoms of syphilis. If you do not receive treatment, you can continue to have syphilis in your body for years without any signs or symptoms.

Tertiary Stage: Most people with untreated syphilis do not develop tertiary syphilis. However, when it does happen it can affect many different organ systems. These include the heart and blood vessels, and the brain and nervous system. Tertiary syphilis is very serious and would occur 10–30 years after your infection began.  In tertiary syphilis, the disease damages your internal organs and can result in death.

 

How to know?

Getting tested is the only way to know for sure if you have syphilis. You should get tested if you or your partner has signs of syphilis, or if you’ve had unprotected sex.

The only way to avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

 

Prevention

If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting syphilis:

  • Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested for syphilis and does not have syphilis
  • Using latex condoms the right way every time you have sex. Condoms prevent transmission of syphilis by preventing contact with a sore. Sometimes sores occur in areas not covered by a condom. Contact with these sores can still transmit syphilis.

 

Treatment

Syphilis can be cured with the right antibiotics from your health care provider. However, treatment might not undo any damage that the infection has already done.

If you’re getting treated for syphilis:

  1. Take all of your medicine the way your doctor tells you to, even if your symptoms go away sooner.
  2. Your partner(s) should also get tested and treated for syphilis so you don’t re-infect each other or anyone else.
  3. Don’t have any kind of sex (vaginal, anal, oral) until you and your partners have finished your treatments, and any sores are totally healed.
  4. Don’t share your medicine with anyone. If your partner needs treatment, you should each get your own separate doses of antibiotics. Make sure you both take all of the medicine prescribed to you.
  5. Even if you finish your treatment and the syphilis is totally gone, it’s still possible to get a new syphilis infection again if you’re exposed in the future. Syphilis isn’t a one-time-only deal. So use condoms and/or dental dams and get tested regularly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source :

  1. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/stds-hiv-safer-sex/syphilis
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/stdfact-syphilis.htm
  3. https://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/understanding-syphilis-symptoms
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/syphilis

This week is the final series of discussions on STD disease groups. KMC Clinic health article readers may review the series of STD group disease articles that we have begun discussing almost 1 month ago. This week we will discuss syphilis as the closing series of STD discussions.

Syphilis is a bacterial infection usually spread by sexual contact. The disease starts as a painless sore — typically on your genitals, rectum or mouth. Syphilis spreads from person to person via skin or mucous membrane contact with these sores.

After the initial infection, the syphilis bacteria can lie dormant in your body for decades before becoming active again. Early syphilis can be cured, sometimes with a single injection of penicillin. Without treatment, syphilis can severely damage your heart, brain or other organs, and can be life-threatening, or be passed from mother to an unborn child.

 

How do you get syphilis?

Syphilis is spread from sexual skin-to-skin contact with someone who has it. You get it when your vulva, vagina, penis, anus, or mouth touches someone’s syphilis sores — usually during sex. Syphilis can be spread even if no one cums.

 

Symptoms of syphilis in adults vary by stage:

Primary Stage: During the first (primary) stage of syphilis, you may notice a single sore or multiple sores. The sore is the location where syphilis entered your body.

Secondary Stage: During the secondary stage, you may have skin rashes and/or mucous membrane lesions. Mucous membrane lesions are sores in your mouth, vagina, or anus. This stage usually starts with a rash on one or more areas of your body. The rash can show up when your primary sore is healing or several weeks after the sore has healed.

Latent Stage: The latent stage of syphilis is a period of time when there are no visible signs or symptoms of syphilis. If you do not receive treatment, you can continue to have syphilis in your body for years without any signs or symptoms.

Tertiary Stage: Most people with untreated syphilis do not develop tertiary syphilis. However, when it does happen it can affect many different organ systems. These include the heart and blood vessels, and the brain and nervous system. Tertiary syphilis is very serious and would occur 10–30 years after your infection began.  In tertiary syphilis, the disease damages your internal organs and can result in death.

 

How to know?

Getting tested is the only way to know for sure if you have syphilis. You should get tested if you or your partner has signs of syphilis, or if you’ve had unprotected sex.

The only way to avoid STDs is to not have vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

 

Prevention

If you are sexually active, you can do the following things to lower your chances of getting syphilis:

  • Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested for syphilis and does not have syphilis
  • Using latex condoms the right way every time you have sex. Condoms prevent transmission of syphilis by preventing contact with a sore. Sometimes sores occur in areas not covered by a condom. Contact with these sores can still transmit syphilis.

 

Treatment

Syphilis can be cured with the right antibiotics from your health care provider. However, treatment might not undo any damage that the infection has already done.

If you’re getting treated for syphilis:

  1. Take all of your medicine the way your doctor tells you to, even if your symptoms go away sooner.
  2. Your partner(s) should also get tested and treated for syphilis so you don’t re-infect each other or anyone else.
  3. Don’t have any kind of sex (vaginal, anal, oral) until you and your partners have finished your treatments, and any sores are totally healed.
  4. Don’t share your medicine with anyone. If your partner needs treatment, you should each get your own separate doses of antibiotics. Make sure you both take all of the medicine prescribed to you.
  5. Even if you finish your treatment and the syphilis is totally gone, it’s still possible to get a new syphilis infection again if you’re exposed in the future. Syphilis isn’t a one-time-only deal. So use condoms and/or dental dams and get tested regularly.

 

Source :

  1. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/stds-hiv-safer-sex/syphilis
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/stdfact-syphilis.htm
  3. https://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/understanding-syphilis-symptoms
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/syphilis

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