Having syphilis is a distressing point in one’s life. If you know someone who has syphilis, especially if he or she is your loved one, it is important to know about the said medical condition and encourage him or her, with you included (if you are suspecting yourself, too), to consult a medical practitioner to help you get over with the disease and help you avoid contracting the disease in the near future.
What is Syphilis?
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) which is caused by Treponema pallidum. If left unmanaged and undiagnosed for years, it may bring about many bodily complications especially in the vital organs which may ultimately lead to death. The infection can occur in two general types- active and inactive. Obviously, inactive syphilis, the disease does manifest itself while in inactive syphilis, the person does not manifest signs and symptoms but carries the disease itself.
Most of the time, syphilis is transmitted through sexual means with another person who has the disease in his system. Sexual intercourse (genital intercourse) is not the definitive cause as it may also be caused by contact with the anus and oral cavity.
Causes of Syphilis
The cause of the syphilis is a spirochete and this bacterium penetrates the body by way of mucus membranes. Syphilis is highly infectious when a person has the chancre (initial sign) in his mucus membranes yet still engages himself or herself in unprotected sex.
Sexual intercourse is the most common manner of transmitting the disease. Many people get syphilis through sexual contact with another person suffering from the said disease. Sexual intercourse includes all types of intercourse like genital, oral or anal. Thus means even those who engage themselves in oral or anal sex can contract the disease. The contact between the sore of the infected person and the uninfected person’s mucus membranes commences the disease process.
Those who have been accidentally pricked by a needle used to a person who is infected can also be candidates for syphilis. A blood transfusion may also be correlated with having the disease as the treponema can be bloodborne especially in advanced stages of the disease. This is the reason why many blood banks screen their blood supplies for STIs.
Women with an active disease who are carrying children in their wound may infect their children while inside the womb because of placental penetration of the pathogen. Demystifying the common beliefs, syphilis cannot be acquired by touching or by contact to things which have been handled by persons who have the disease.
Evaluating oneself is important in determining one’s chance of having contracted the disease. If you think you have been exposed to people who may have syphilis, it is best to seek medical advice as soon as possible. Syphilis is a great imitator, this means that the disease may present itself in different forms and may imitate other disease’s common signs and symptoms. To be sure of what you have in your system, it is best to submit yourself for evaluation, especially serological testing.