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A – Z of Illnesses & Conditions

Help: To find an Illness or Condition . Select a letter from A - Z of Illnesses & Conditions. Or Scroll lists. Or Use Search.

 

Syphilis


Syphilis: Syphilis is a bacterial infection usually spread by sexual contact. The disease starts as a painless sore typically on your genitals, rectum or mouth. Syphilis spreads from person to person via skin or mucous membrane contact with these sores. After the initial infection, the syphilis bacteria can lie dormant in your body for decades before becoming active again.

Early syphilis can be cured sometimes with a single injection of penicillin. Without treatment syphilis can severely damage your heart, brain or other organs, and can be life-threatening.

Pregnant women can pass the condition on to their unborn baby, which can cause stillbirth or the death of the baby shortly after labour. 
 
It is extremely rare for syphilis to be spread through blood transfusions, as all blood transfusions in the UK are tested for syphilis.
 
Syphilis also cannot be spread by using the same toilet, clothing, cutlery or bathroom as an infected person, as the bacteria cannot survive for long outside the human body.

The only guaranteed way to prevent a syphilis infection is to avoid sexual contact or to only have sexual contact with a faithful partner who has been tested and does not have the infection.
 

If you suspect you have syphilis, visit a genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic, sexual health clinic or your doctor as soon as possible. 
 

 


Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal remedies

 


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