You may have heard the name syphilis from every moving vehicle selling traditional medicine on the road and in the market place. Syphilis is a terrible disease, it is mostly contracted by having unprotected [email protected] intercourse, both anal, oral and vaginal s3x. It is a silent yet severe infection, and if not discovered early and treated on time can lead to severe complications and can even lead to death.
We are going to talk about syphilis, how it is contracted, the symptoms, and it can be treated.
What Is Syphilis?
Syphilis is a bacterial infection, it can be acquired [email protected] or through blood transfusion. Blood that is to be transfused is usually screened for syphilis, so the possibility of one acquiring the infection from a blood transfusion is very slim.
Syphilis Has Four Stages.
1. The Primary Stage – This usually happens between ten days to 4 months after infection. There is often a small painless sore in your vagina, mouth or rectum or a hard boil called a ‘chancre‘. The chancre usually disappears after a few days, but if you discover a sore a few days after unprotected [email protected] intercourse, you should have it examined and start treatment immediately. Most people ignore it since it is painless, and disappears on its own after a few days.
2. The Secondary Stage – This shows up after about two weeks the initial chancre or sore has disappeared. The symptoms include sores in the mouth, vagina or anus, hair loss, weight loss, extreme tiredness, headache, fever, skin rash. These symptoms are the second stage of syphilis, they disappear after a few days so that one may feel fine after a while. After the secondary stage, symptoms do not appear for as long as a year or more, this is known as the latent stage. This does not mean that the disease is not progressing; it is growing very fast, yet there are little or no signs. This is what makes the disease a silent killer.
3. Latent Stage – This is also known as the dormant stage. In most people, it usually lasts for decades. That means the next time you may feel ill is in the next couple of decades. Yes, a syphilis patient can carry and spread the disease without knowing it for decades. In this stage, women who get pregnant may not know that they are infected and may pass on the infection to their unborn child. This could be fatal to the unborn child or cause severe diseases.
4. Tertiary Stage – As said earlier this usually happens after decades of initial infection. This is when syphilis has spread to vital organs such as the brain, the kidney, the heart valve, and even your eyesight causing blindness and also changes in personality. In this stage, any treatment carried out doesn’t have any effect on the syphilis, and because it has affected the vital organs, other complications occur. It is way better to treat syphilis in the primary stage or secondary stage as any later can cause complications.
The only way to prevent syphilis is by having protected s3x; both oral, anal and vagina. Testing for syphilis when you have had unprotected s3x and getting treated immediately is the best way to treat the infection.