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Syphilis in Women: Know the Signs and Symptoms
Syphilis in Women: Know the Signs and Symptoms

Syphilis in Women: Know the Signs and Symptoms

Syphilis is among the most common sexually transmitted infections or STIs these days. Though it generally affects men more frequently, women are also not immune. Modern STD testing helps to detect the infection of syphilis which can be treated easily with several antibiotics. Knowing the signs and symptoms of a syphilis infection is vital in diagnosis and treatment. Read on to know about syphilis and its symptoms in women.

More about Syphilis

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection which occurs due to bacteria called Treponema palladium. The bacteria will spread through anal and vaginal sex. Transmission via oral sex is rare though it is possible. Syphilis can infect the anus, genitals, mouth and lips.

How you can test for syphilis in Women

Syphilis may be transmitted due to direct sexual skin to skin contact, not necessarily sexual fluids. Syphilis cannot spread through casual contact and it cannot be transmitted via sharing of foods or drinks, sharing towels, holding hands or hugging.

Syphilis cannot be spread through sneezing or coughing and you cannot get syphilis from sitting on a toilet seat.

Signs and Symptoms of Syphilis in Women

The main sign of Syphilis in women is the appearance of sores called chancres. These sores are round, firm and painless though they may burst potentially and become suppurating and open. When this happens, the bacterial infection is at its most contagious. These chancres are easy to mistake as in-grown hairs, blemishes or pimples and sometimes they can be found in hard-to-spot parts such as inside the rectum or vagina.

Chancres generally appear anywhere from three weeks to three months after the initial exposure. The sores will go away on their own within a few weeks even when you do not treat them, however the syphilis bacteria will still be present.

When you do not treat syphilis, the infection will progress to the secondary stage during which you might suffer from body rashes. This can spread to the hand palms and feet soles. The rashes usually do not itch or hurt though you may be accompanied with flu-like symptoms such as:

  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches

There can be more sores in the secondary phase of syphilis. The symptoms of flu and rash may go way after sometime but they can continue to come and go again in the next two years without any treatment.

When you do not treat syphilis, it can move to the tertiary stage. Untreated syphilis can spread to other body parts during this stage which can include the central nervous system. There are extreme cases when people suffer loss of vision or paralysis. The infection may lead to organ damage or tumours. Whilst proper treatment can cure syphilis, it will not reverse the damage done from a tertiary infection. So, it is necessary to treat yourself quickly before the progression of untreated syphilis.

The major problem with syphilis is that it is difficult to detect it before it has progressed into secondary or tertiary stages. As such, it is essential to get tested when you are sexually active. Make sure you as well as your partner get tested and treated on time so that both of you can stay protected from any kind of sexually transmitted diseases or infections. You may visit a doctor for private syphilis testing in women and know if you have the infection.

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