Having an STD is something to be worried about. Sexually transmitted diseases are a common occurrence nowadays but it’s being common does not connote that it is already an insignificant trend. If you notice something different going on inside your body most especially in the genital areas, it is best to seek immediate help- who knows, you might just have contracted syphilis. Knowing that you have an STD may be a cause of panic but panic would barely scratch the cover. Treatment is the number one priority before it gets worse and eats up your body. Apart from that, informing your partner of this fact would be of great help in order for you to be screened of the disease.
Syphilis signs and symptoms initially take time. Compared with other diseases, this one comes in different stages, all with different characteristic signs and symptoms. Neglecting and not giving attention to this disease would lead you to a hard future ahead of you- with all the complications of the disease’s end-stage. Syphilis has a grace period- a critical period of time where the disease is most vulnerable and the patient is more suitable for treating. Sexually transmitted infections’ signs and symptoms are somehow definitive that something is going wrong with your system- thus it should be reported immediately.
Men and women exhibit different signs and symptoms with regards to the disease. After the exposure to syphilis, some signs occur within 10 to 90 days. It is best to be observant in these cases. Urine discoloration, pain while urinating and difficulty in initiating voiding is something of concern. While this may be a pressing problem, still many people do not believe or refuse to take on a physician’s suggestion. If in the first stage of the disease, a person successfully crosses, good for him or her, however, if the case is otherwise, the person must prepare himself for greater and more devastating signs and symptoms. Signs such as sores, rashes and pains may also possibly indicate this disease as it can cause a painless sore in the mucus membranes.
The difficulty in dealing with persons of this kind, especially those who are posed at great risk for interest is that they do not acknowledge or recognize these things. Perhaps, they may be shy but shyness is not of help in treating the disease. Others may deny the occurrence of the disease but actually, admitting the disease and accepting one’s condition is the best way to help a person treat himself.
Syphilis is a widely known sexually transmitted infection (STI). During the 80s and 90s decade, the incidence of syphilis has started to decline because of the rise of antibiotics and other treatments for sexually transmitted diseases. In the 21st century, however, the incidence of syphilis have started to take through an upward trend and is very common especially in men who engage in sex with persons of the same gender and those who do not practice safe sex (much like HIV/Aids.
Syphilis is a disease caused by a bacterium called Treponema pallidum which belongs to the spirochete family- distinct because of its cork-screw appearance. Aside from the consequences of suffering from syphilis, i.e. stigma of carrying the disease and being contagious, acquiring syphilis increases a person’s susceptibility to acquiring HIV- the virus that causes AIDS.
Like many infectious diseases, syphilis can be managed effectively if diagnosed at an early stage. Therefore, it is important for people, especially those who have an increased susceptibility to the disease, to know the early signs and symptoms of the disease in order to submit themselves into medical management at an early phase.
1. First Stage
- Chancre (a red sore that is painless)
- Enlarged lymph nodes
Usually, after about two to twelve weeks upon sexual contact with a person infected with syphilis, a person will notice sores or ulcers, called chancres. These sores are usually found in the mucus membranes where the infection has occurred primarily. Mucus membranes where infections commonly occur may be in the vaginal area, oral cavity, genital or anal area. These chancres are the most common way of transmitting the disease to other persons. Because it is generally painless, the person may just neglect it and go on with his or her usual sexual contact with other persons.
Lymph nodes which are near the site of infection also start to swell. Because the lymph filters out the toxins and the microorganisms near the area of infection, it becomes enlarged.
2. Second Stage
- Loss of Appetite
- Weight Loss
- Sore Throat
- Joint and Muscle Pains
- Wart like patches (condylomata)
The second stage is signaled with the healing of the chancres and the appearance of rashes in the soles of the feet and the palms, too. Wart like patches in mucus membranes may also appear, and these are very contagious, too. During this stage, some internal organs are starting to become affected like the kidneys, liver and lungs.
3. Latent Stage
This is a stage where the person lives asymptomatically, thereby not exhibiting any symptoms. This stage may go on for several years unnoticed and becomes noticeable during the commencement of the Tertiary stage of the disease.
4. Tertiary Stage or Late Stage Syphilis
Late stage syphilis occurs after many years of asymptomatic infection. In this stage, the persons starts to experience more dangerous and alarming signs and symptoms.
- Visual disturbances
- Loss of memory
- Loss of muscle coordination
- Bladder incontinence
Syphilis is a treatable disease most especially if diagnosed early. The vantage point in being treated with the disease effectively is through noticing the early signs and symptoms of the disease, that way, you can alter the normal course of the infection and help yourself recover in a faster manner.