What it is
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria. Some people get an ulcer or sore around the genital area or mouth and the sore is usually painless and can be any size or shape. The sore can heal and disappear after a few weeks, but this does not mean that you are cured – the bacteria are still spreading throughout the body. Syphilis can affect the brain and other organs. So, if it's left untreated, things could get very serious.
How you get it
You can get syphilis through having unprotected sex with someone who is infected with the bacteria. Syphilis is very contagious in the early stage of the disease when sores are visible. So make sure you have condoms on hand to lessen your chances of getting the infection.
People with syphilis will often notice no symptoms at all. If you have a sore or a rash on your genitals, book yourself an appointment with your doctor. The doctor can do tests to see if you have syphilis. If you have any open sore, the fluid from those sores will be tested. If there are no sores, a simple blood test may be conducted. But make sure you get yourself to the doctors if you are suspicious of anything because the symptoms can become severe if left untreated.
Syphilis can be easily treated in the early stages of the disease. So make sure that you get onto it early if you notice anything out of the ordinary on your genitals. At the early stage, antibiotics will clear up this infection, and the sooner it's treated, the better!
The advice provided in this material is general in nature and is not intended as medical advice. If you need medical advice, please consult your health care professional.