Syphilis can sometimes be avoided through safer sex practices, such as using condoms and using "dental dams" during oral sex. Syphilis sores have to be covered up with a bandage to keep the infection from spreading.
The signs and symptoms of syphilis may occur in four stages is primary, secondary, latent and tertiary.
Primary stage - The primary phase usually starts with a sore at the site of infection. The sore or lesion is called a chancre (pronounced shanker ). This sore usually appears as a craterlike lesion on the male or female genitals, although any part of the body is at risk. Anyone who touches an infected sore can transmit the infection. This initial lesion develops 3-4 weeks after infection and heals spontaneously after 1 week. Though the sore goes away, the disease does not. It progresses into the secondary phase.
Secondary stage - After the chancre develops, the secondary phase develops for about 4-10 weeks. Secondary syphilis is caused when a person has a direct contact with the mucous membranes.
Various other symptoms of secondary phase are Fever.
- Muscle aches
- Joint pain
- Sore throat
Latent stage - In which no symptoms are present - may follow the secondary stage. Signs and symptoms may never return, or the disease may progress to the tertiary stage.
Late (tertiary) stage - This disease is not detected and treated in the early stages, various problems can arise such as blindness , heart disorders , mental disorders and many other associated with the nervous system and it will result in death.
If you have an advanced case of syphilis, you may need stronger treatment. You may get shots of penicillin every day for 10 days. This can be done in the doctor's office or at a clinic. A few people have to go to the hospital to be treated with penicillin intravenously (through an IV).
If you're pregnant, it's very important to get treated right away. Syphilis can cause birth defects and even death in an unborn baby.
How can this infection be prevented?
The best ways to prevent Syphilis is :
- The best way to prevent syphilis or any STD is to practice abstinence, or not having vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
- Self care should be taken to prevent from syphilis.
- Use a male or female condom.
- Condoms should be bought and stored.
- All pregnant women should receive at least one prenatal blood test for syphilis.