Syphilis (A Sexually Transmitted Disease): Symptoms and Complications

The first sign of syphilis is a small sore that appears at the site where the bacteria entered your body.
Syphilis symptoms
Syphilis - A sexually transmitted disease: Symptoms and complications

What are the Symptoms of Syphilis?


Syphilis is a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), which occurs as a result of the bacterial infection caused by bacteria known as Treponema pallidum. 
The infection is often transmitted due to the mucous membranes or skin sores that are found in the vagina, anus, rectum, mouth, and on the lips, through sexual contact with an infected person. 
The infection can also be transmitted from the mother to her fetus during pregnancy or at birth.

Symptoms of Syphilis

The symptoms and signs that appear on people with syphilis vary according to the stage of the disease. The following are the most common symptoms of syphilis:

Primary Stage: This stage begins approximately three to four weeks after exposure to bacteria, and often begins with a sore known as a chance. This sore appears in the part where the bacteria moved to the body, as it may be the mouth, rectum, or genitals.
The sore is small and circular, and although it does not cause pain, it is very infectious.
The infection is transmitted through direct contact through sex, including oral sex, and often lasts from two to six weeks.

Secondary Stage: In this stage, symptoms of syphilis are suspected with some other disease, as a rash appears, especially on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, but this does not prevent the possibility of it appearing anywhere in the body, and often does not cause a rash Itch, and the person may not notice his presence.
In addition, the patient may suffer from sore throat, and in fact, regardless of whether or not the patient receives treatment, these symptoms disappear, but this does not mean that the patient has recovered, so syphilis is still endemic in the body.
Other symptoms that may appear at this stage and also disappear on their own include:
  • Headache.
  • Swollen lymph nodes.
  • Tired and general fatigue.
  • Fever.
  • Weight loss.
  • Hair loss.
  • Joint pain.

Latent Stage: This stage was called Latent Stage because of the disappearance of symptoms and signs that had appeared in the primary and secondary stage, and the absence of any new symptoms, but syphilis still inhabits the body.
This stage may last for several years before entering the third stage.

Tertiary Stage: Some approved scientific statistics have found that approximately 15-30% of people with syphilis who have not received treatment have reached this stage after many years have passed. This stage is very dangerous and may kill the person.
Among the symptoms and signs that appear at this stage are the following:
  • Suffering from neurological disorders such as stroke and meningitis.
  • Neurosyphilis infection, this infection can attack both the brain and spinal cord.
  • Soft tissue and bone damage.
  • memory loss.
  • Heart disease.
  • Suffering from mental disorders and diseases.
  • hearing loss.
  • blindness.

Complications of Syphilis

Syphilis can lead to several complications if the patient is not treated properly. The most prominent of these complications are as follows:

Bumps or tumors: They appear either on the skin, bone, liver, or other organs in the final stage of the disease. They usually disappear after being treated with antibiotics.

Suffering from problems on the nervous system: such as stroke, meningitis, hearing loss, vision problems, dementia, or a loss of sensation of heat.

Having disorders of the heart and circulatory system: the most prominent of which is suffering from swelling and irritation of the aorta wall and other blood vessels, and may also damage the heart valves.

Infection with HIV: When suffering from syphilis, the chance of transmission of this HIV virus increases two to five times as much as a healthy person.
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