All About Syphilis – A Sexually Transmitted Disease

All About Syphilis – A Sexually Transmitted Disease

All About Syphilis - A Sexually Transmitted Disease

By Dr A. Kumar GuptaSexology

Syphilis, one of the most common forms of sexually transmitted diseases, is caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. The infected person is often unaware of the disease and unknowingly passes it on to his or her sexual partner.

Pregnant women with the disease can spread it to their baby. This disease, called congenital syphilis, can cause abnormalities or even death to the child.

Syphilis cannot be spread by toilet seats, door knobs, swimming pools, hot tubs, bath tubs, shared clothing, or eating utensils.


The disease mainly occurs if you have sexual intercourse without any protection with multiple sexual partners. The other mode of infection is blood transfusion and through congenital means. The bacterium spreads unbeknown to the host.


In its early stages, the disease shows the symptom of the appearance of ulcers around the genitals or the oral region known as a chancre; within 3 to 6 weeks of sexual intercourse. The ulcers are hard to identify as they are undetectable in the human eye and it disappears after 2-3 weeks.

If syphilis is not diagnosed in the primary stage, severe rashes appear around the hand or feet in its secondary stage. In the secondary stage, the bacterium becomes fragile and tends to infect other people as a result of sexual or non-sexual interactions coupled with the symptoms of mild fever, headache, throat pains and immense fatigue. In the tertiary stage, bacteria might cause damage to the nervous systems, heart, eyes, brains and other parts of the body in the course of 3-5 years; which might result in blindness and subsequent death of the individual. However, in this current age, owing to the remarkable medical progress, Syphilis appears as less of a threat than it once was.


If it’s diagnosed in its early stages, syphilis is very easy to cure. The doctors will prescribe three dosages of Benzathine Penicillin G injection for all the three stages, which will work as an antibiotic to kill the bacterium. If one is allergic to penicillin, doctors might suggest an alternate dosage of doxycycline, tetracycline, and ceftriaxone. This dosage should be followed by appropriate medical check-ups and he/she should abstain from sexual intercourse until the spots are not completely healed. To avoid such situations once and for all, one should use suitable protections during intercourses & might want to check up themselves and and their partners for a syphilis-free life.