SyphilisSyphilis is a sexually transmitted disease. It is caused by bacteria which can be passed on during sexual intercourse, during transfusion with contaminated blood and a mother infected with syphilis can pass it on to the baby. Progression of the disease can be divided in four stages. The symptoms of the first stage syphilis include sores on the genital area or in the mouth and swollen lymph nodes in the groins. The second stage symptoms involve rash on the skin lumps on the genitals or mouth, tiredness, drowsiness, fever, sore throat and swelling of the other lymph nodes. The third stage does not include any particular symptoms but if you do not receive the treatment for syphilis, the disease may cause some severe complications. The fourth stage involves damage on the brain, heart, bones, nerves, eyes and liver. Syphilis is a contagious disease which can have devastating complications.
ComplicationsAs the disease progresses, it can cause muscle spasms, numbness, vision loss, paralysis and dementia. Lesions can appear on the skin and internal organs which may interfere with their proper function. Further complications include brain damage, stroke and hearing problems. A person infected with syphilis is in grater risk of getting HIV. If a mother has infected the unborn baby, it may cause devastating consequences. The complications the baby might experience includes rash, sores on the skin, enlargement of the spleen or liver, jaundice, anemia and fever. If the baby does not receive the proper treatment on time further complication may occur. Such complications include various deformities, damage of the teeth, hearing loss, slow development and seizures. Mortality rate of the syphilis infected babies is very high.
TreatmentSyphilis is not difficult to treat if it is diagnosed on time. You will receive antibiotics, penicillin in most cases. Your doctor will determine the dose according to the stage of the disease. During the treatment your condition will be monitored regularly. The doctor will decide on the frequency of examinations and blood tests. It is recommended to abstain from sexual activities till the end of treatment. You should also do the test for HIV.
PreventionIf you want to be on the safe side as far as all sexually transmitted diseases are concerned, practice safe sex. Avoid sex with more people and always check if your partner has some disease. If you once experienced syphilis in your live, you will not be immune to it in the future.