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What is a sexually transmitted disease (STD)? Any of various diseases or infections that can be transmitted by direct sexual contact. Examples of STDs: Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Syphilis, Herpes etc.
What is Syphilis? Syphilis is a very serious sexually transmitted disease. Fortunately, it can easily be cured these days. It is caused by a corkscrew-shaped bacterium called Treponema pallidum. It was once a widespread cause of paralysis, insanity and death. But in the middle part of the 20th century, the invention of penicillin made it a rare disease in Britain and Western Europe. However, in the early part of the 21st century, syphilis became slightly more common in the UK, largely as a result of small outbreaks in Greater Manchester, London, Bristol and Brighton. But in the last year for which statistics are available, there were only 3,273 cases in the UK. Of these, only 388 occurred in women. About 60 per cent of the male cases occurred in men who have sex with men (MSM). It is worth being aware that syphilis rates are much higher in certain other countries. Therefore, casual sex while overseas may be risky.
Causes Syphilis can be passed on from one person to another during sexual contact that involves vaginal, oral, and anal sex. Infection can also be passed from an infected mother to her child during pregnancy, it can cause a still birth or can cause deformations of the baby. Any person of any age who involves in sexual activity can contract and pass on a syphilis infection, including heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual men and women.
Symptoms If syphilis is detected very late, it may lead to severe symptoms. There are three stages of syphilis, each stage has different symptoms. The primary stage, secondary, latent and tertiary.
Primary Stage Painless lesion (wound/abrasion/cut) called a chancre which changes any time from 10 days to three months after disclosure. Chancre generally appears on the genital area and can form on the lips, tongue or rectum if these areas have been exposed to a syphilis chancre on another person during oral or anal sexual contact. Can heal up to 5 weeks
Secondary Stage If the primary stage of syphilis is left untreated, it will advance to the secondary stage of syphilis. In this stage, the bacteria cause by syphilis eventually spreads throughout the body and cause various symptoms. TO BE CONTINUED…
Secondary stage symptoms continuation… Fatigue Fever Flu-like symptoms Headache Patchy hair-loss Skin rashes and a rash around the rectum Sore throat Swollen glands Weight loss
The latent (hidden) stage of syphilis begins when secondary syphilis symptoms end. This stage can start from 2 years to over 30 years after the initial infection. In early latent syphilis, you may not have syphilis symptoms, but the infection remains in your body. When you are in this stage, you can infect a sexual partner. In late latent syphilis, the infection is quiet and the risk of infecting a sexual partner is low or absent. If you don't get treated for latent syphilis, you will progress to tertiary syphilis, the most serious stage of the disease. Latent Syphilis
Tertiary stage This last stage develops from untreated secondary syphilis. When untreated secondary syphilis symptoms disappear, the infection still continues in the body. During this time, syphilis can damage organs, such as the brain, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones, and nerves, leading to serious complicationsand every so often death.
Gradual loss of vision Loss of muscle coordination Numbness Paralysis Tertiary stage symptoms continuation…
Men are actually more prone to get syphilis then women. This disease is found most often among men and women at the age of 15-39 years old. Who are more likely to get syphilis?
How Does Syphilis Affect a Pregnant Woman and Her Baby? • Depending on how long a pregnant woman has been infected with syphilis, she has a good chance of having a stillbirth (birth of an infant who has died prior to delivery) or of giving birth to a baby who dies shortly after birth. • If not treated immediately, an infected baby may be born without symptoms but could develop them within a few weeks. • These signs and symptoms can be very serious. Untreated babies may become developmentally delayed, have seizures, or die.
Preventions avoid contact with infected tissue (a group of cells) and body fluids of an infected person. usually transmitted by people who have no sores that can be seen or rashes and who do not know they are infected. If you aren't infected with syphilis and are sexually active, having mutually monogamous sex with an uninfected partner is the best way to prevent syphilis.
using condoms properly and consistently during sex reduces your risk of getting syphilis. Washing or douching after sex won't prevent syphilis. Even if you have been treated for syphilis and cured, you can be re-infected by having sex with an infected partner Making right choices! (Y) :D Preventions continuation