What is Syphilis?
Syphilis is an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) caused by Treponema pallidum bacteria. This first sign of this deadly sexually transmitted infection is just a small, painless sore, which people fail to notice right away. This sore, which is medically known as chancre can appear in your rectum, in the sexual organ or even inside the mouth. Diagnosis of syphilis can be really challenging. You can get infected with this disease, without showing any signs or symptoms for several years. Nevertheless, the earlier you can spot this disease, the better it is for the patient. If kept untreated for a long time, this illness can cause major damage to the patient’s brain, heart and other major organs within the course of several years.Syphilis can only spread through direct sexual contact with the syphilitic chancres. The syphilitic bacteria cannot be transmitted by wearing another person’s cloths, sharing the toilet, or by eating in another person’s utensil.
This disease, syphilis, can be divided into four stages:
When this disease is in its latent mode, the disease remains active, but shows no symptoms and is not contagious. However, tertiary syphilis is the most destructive part of the disease.Primary syphilis occurs within three to four weeks once you are infected with this disease. It begins with a small, round sore, which is known as chancre. The chancre is painless, but it’s highly infectious. This sore appears where the bacteria entered your body, which can be your genitals, inside of your mouth or your rectum. This sore stays anywhere between 2-6 weeks.
During the second stage you can experience sore throat, skin rashes, fatigue, swollen lymph glands, aching joints, and fever and weight loss. Syphilitic rashes which don’t itch are found in palms and soles, but then again, they can appear anywhere in your body. Most people don’t notice these rashes as these symptoms go away whether or not you have received any treatment. But you still remain infected.In the latent phase, the disease remains hidden. You can remain in this stage for several years, before you progress to tertiary syphilis.
In the last and tertiary phase (generally only 15 to 30 percent patients who have not done any treatment enters this stage), which can occur after several decades after the primary infection, the manifestations of this illness can be life-threatening. Tertiary syphilitic patients often get blind, deaf, suffer from neurological disorders and even bear the pain of destruction of bones and soft tissues. Primary or secondary syphilis is easily treatable and the drug of choice for curing this disease is penicillin.
Syphilis is one of the most common STD and can affect both men and women. This bacterial infection can be easily treated, but if left unattended it can cause serious problems. Syphilis can be caught by mere skin to skin contact with an infected person’s genitals or mouth. Hence even if you do not have intercourse with an infected person, you can still get infected from them. If a woman who is pregnant gets infected with this disease, she could pass it on to her unborn child as well.
A person suffering from syphilis may not always exhibit symptoms of the disease. This disease goes through active as well as dormant phases with symptoms being present only in the former. Even its dormant phase, this disease can be transmitted from one person to another.
There are four stages of syphilis and each of them have their own symptoms.
Syphilis is a STD caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. It has several stages, like primary, secondary, latent and tertiary and is common in homosexual men. It should be remembered that Syphilis is curable. It can be treated, if diagnosed in early stage. It can be cured, if medical help is sought for. Sharing toilets, clothes, or utensils doesn’t cause this disease. It will vanish forever, if treated at once. However, it can be reinfected if exposed to the bacteria through new syphilis sore. It can also spread, if transmitted by direct touch or contact with Syphilitic sore via anus, skin surface, vagina, mouth and lips. It is very rare though that syphilis can be spread during a kiss.
Syphilis can live within the body for months, even years or decades. Initially, it remains as a painless sore on the genitals like anus, vagina, mouth or skin surface. If present for many years, there is an increased risk of contracting HIV.
The major causes of syphilis are unsafe sex with homosexual partners and the practice of having unprotected sex like anal, vaginal and oral sex. Individuals who have multiple sexual partners and are specially sexually linked to HIV-infected persons have the highest risk of contracting Syphillis.
It can not only be spread through multiple sexual unsafe intercourses, but also has its high risk in spreading from mother to baby during pregnancy, commonly unknown as congenital syphilis. In such cases, the baby has low birth weight and can develop cataract, deafness or seizures. In some cases, even new born babies die from the disease.
The doctor will first conduct a physical examination of the patient. Thereafter, blood and urine are collected for bacterial test. If a sore is found on the body, the doctor may collect a sample from the sore to examine the presence of syphilis bacteria. If there are nervous system disorders in the patient, a spinal tap or lumbar puncture is done to collect the spinal fluid. The fluid is then tested for syphilis bacteria.
Treatments for syphilis
Initially, syphilis is treated with penicillin. It has to be kept in mind that long-term exposure to the disease can have life-threatening consequences. Patients suffering from syphilis are either given a single dose or multiple doses of penicillin. The quantum of the dose depends on the nature of symptoms and the infection. Individuals must use condoms to reduce the risk of transmitting the disease while having sexual intercourse. In the case of penicillin allergy, the patient is recommended to have alternative medicines. Infants and newborns born with syphilis undergo antibiotic treatment.
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STD or Sexually Transmitted Diseases are incurred by sexual intimacy or intercourse. Some of these diseases are even life threatening at times while others may be milder but annoying . They affect your sexual life. These should not be ignored and require treatment and medication.
Some of the common STDs are:
The most dangerous are HIV and Syphlis and Hepatitis B.
Everyone who had unprotected sex with unknown partner should get themselves checked after 2 weeks of exposure. Early treatment is crucial. Others like Herpes, chancres, chlamydia and gonorrhea are not so dangerous in people with normal immunity but in elderly, diabetics and immunological weak persons may be affected more seriously. It may cause infertility in females STDs have visible symptoms such as:
While genital infections are an uneasy topic to discuss and seek treatment for, ignoring them leads to severe complications like infertility and even death. Most of these can be treated with a regular course of antibiotics and some topical treatment when identified early. Genital infections can be broadly classified into sexually transmitted and non-sexually transmitted. Read on to know some more common infections in both the categories.
Sexually transmitted diseases:
Non-sexually transmitted diseases: There two major genital infections not transmitted by sex are bacterial vaginosis and candidiasis.
Early diagnosis and intervention of these infections can prevent severe symptoms in most cases. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.
It is important that you protect yourself from various types of diseases and infections as much as possible. Female condoms are used to have protected intercourse so as to avoid contact with ejaculatory fluids. These condoms help a person to steer clear of blood, semen and vaginal fluids as well. Female condoms fall under the category of barrier contraceptives. They are considered to be less effective in comparison to male condoms, but are nonetheless good for preventing any kind of infection. Ensuring fine health through safe sex is your due responsibility. Hence, a little knowledge about these contraceptives is helpful if you wish to shun chances of unwanted pregnancy or Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
What is it like?
A female condom looks like an ill fitting hollow cylinder. It is a thin sheath with a closed end, that goes inside the vagina and an open end that remains outside the vagina covering other external, genital parts. The covered end has to be inserted into the vagina or into the anus. It is a misconception, that female condoms can only be used by females. It is predominantly used by females, but can also be used by any receptive partner during sexual intercourse. The ends have circular rings to keep the condom in place.
What are they made of?
Femidoms are usually made up of polyurethane. This material is expensive, making the product costly. The need for a cost effective product was immediately felt to encourage the use of condoms among females. Thus, the next generation of female condoms were made with synthetic Nitrile. Nitrile proved to be a competent substitute as it did away with the annoying noises polyurethane made during sex. It also reduced condom pricing considerably. Researchers have also come up with natural latex female condoms that retain the feel of a male condom.
Benefits of using a female condom
It is a great barrier in thwarting the flow of semen into the womb. Thus, they reduce the risk of accidental pregnancy. It also protects you against sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhoea, Syphilis, and HIV. Sex partners should be careful to refrain from any sexual contact before the insertion of a female condom. Only after the condom has been placed properly, the penis should enter the vagina or the anus. Femidoms are available in varied sizes, but the average sized condom fits most females. Large sized condoms can be used by new mothers. It is advised to buy condoms that bear the CE mark on them. The CE mark represents European Safety Standards and thus, leaves you least vulnerable to accidents or diseases. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.
What is Syphilis?
This disease, syphilis, can be divided into four stages: