By: Connie Masak, APNP

Syphilis is an infection that is sexually transmitted. If untreated Syphilis can lead to cardiovascular complications, neurologic complications, and ulcerative lesions.

Symptoms: Initial symptoms develop 2- 3 weeks after contact
• Non-painful lesion in the area that was first infected (vagina, rectum, penis)
• 25% of people will go on to develop further symptoms weeks to months after the initial symptoms
• These symptoms include widespread rash, fever, headache, sore throat, weight loss, or swollen lymph nodes
• Late Stage Syphilis: paralysis, insanity, confusion, blindness, aneurysm

Lab Testing:
• If (+) lab will do a confirmatory test for Syphilis AB by TP-PA

Health Department: must be reported to the Health Department with the following information
• Has the patient been previously tested in the past year
• Does the patient have any symptoms, ie sores, rash
• Does the patient know who she was in contact with that had the disease AND any other contacts in the past year

Treatment: Benzathine Penicillin G LA 2.4 million Units IM weekly x 3 weeks
• Patient must remain in the office for 30 minutes after each dose to observe for a possible anaphylactic reaction
• Patient should be instructed to abstain from intercourse until they AND their sexual partner(s) have completed treatment

Continued Monitoring:
• Once treatment has been completed, blood titers should be monitored after 3 months and 6 months, then every 6 months for 2 years. If the titer does not fall by 2 dilutions 6 months after treatment, then retreatment should be considered

Special Consideration in Pregnant Women: there is some evidence of a 40% miscarriage rate
• Perinatal death
• Premature delivery
• Low birth weight
• Congenital anomalies
• Active congenital syphilis in the neonate
• Long term conditions such as deafness and neurologic impairment

As we observe STD Awareness Month, we encourage everyone to take proactive steps toward prioritizing their sexual health. If you have concerns about STDs or are due for testing, we invite you to schedule an appointment with Women’s Health Specialists. Our compassionate and knowledgeable providers can offer guidance, support, and testing options to help ensure your sexual health and well-being. Don’t wait – take charge of your health today. Schedule your appointment today! Schedule on our website or call us at (920) 749-4000.