Syphilis is an STD that is simple to cure, but can lead to serious health complications if left untreated. While syphilis was once a major public health threat, the rate of new cases of syphilis plummeted in the 1990s, reaching an all-time low in 2000. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control, new cases of syphilis doubled between 2005 and 2013, and continues to be on the rise.
Syphilis can be passed through unprotected vaginal, anal and oral sex. It is spread from sexual skin-to-skin contact when your vulva, vagina, penis, anus or mouth touches someone’s syphilis sores. Part of makes syphilis so easily transmittable is that you or your partner might not notice the sores, or even know they’re there. Though condoms and dental dams can help prevent this contact, sores can occur in areas not covered by a condom and contact with those sores can still transmit syphilis.
Syphilis can be cured with medicine if it’s treated early on, but can lead to serious health issues if left untreated. Open sores can also encourage the transmission of other sexually transmitted diseases and infections, such as HIV. Syphilis can also be passed to children through childbirth and greatly increases the chance of miscarriage and stillbirth.
Why Should I Order a Syphilis Test?
Getting tested is the only way to find out if you have syphilis and should begin treatment. Without getting treatment, syphilis can lead to serious health issues. Whether you exhibit symptoms or not is not an accurate way to tell if you have been infected, and it’s not an accurate way to tell which STD you might have. If you notice any sores or rashes on your genitals or any other possible symptoms of syphilis, you should get tested. You do not need to be exhibiting symptoms to get tested.
What Are the Symptoms of Syphilis?
Symptoms of syphilis can be difficult to detect, and tend to come and go over time. Symptoms can be so mild that you don’t notice them, or they can be confused for other things, such as pimples or rashes. Though symptoms can pop up and resolve themselves, it doesn’t mean the infection has gone away. The only way to cure syphilis is to take medicine for it.
Syphilis is divided into stages (primary, secondary, latent and tertiary) and the signs and symptoms differ with each stage. Symptoms associated with primary stage syphilis include sores on the genitals or in and around the mouth and usually appear somewhere between 10 and 90 days after exposure. Sores are usually, but not always, small, round and painless. Because of this, they usually go unnoticed, depending on their location. Sores usually heal on their own without treatment, but the infection does not.
The secondary stage can last one to three months and begins after the primary stage, typically within six weeks to six months after exposure. Secondary symptoms include “copper penny” rashes on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet; however, rashes with a different appearance may exhibit elsewhere on the body. Again, the rash usually won’t itch and can be so faint that you might not notice it. Symptoms can also include moist warts in the groin, white patches on the inside of the mouth, swollen lymph glands, fever and weight loss. Like the primary stage of syphilis, secondary stage syphilis symptoms will usually resolve themselves.
The latent and tertiary stages follow the first two stages. In the latent stage, the infection lies dormant and does not exhibit symptoms. The last stage is the tertiary stage, which is characterized by severe problems with the heart, brain and nerves than can result in paralysis, blindness, dementia, deafness, impotence and even death.
How Long Should I Wait Before Getting Tested?
The average time period between infection and the first symptom is 21 days, but can range from 10 to 90 days. A test result during this period could return a false negative result. If you notice something you think could be a symptom, you should get tested. If you had symptoms that resembled syphilis, and the symptoms went away on their own, you should get tested.
What Are the Benefits of a Syphilis Test?
You might not notice symptoms of syphilis, or they could look like another STD. The only way to know for sure if you have syphilis or not is to get tested.
With Priority STD Testing, you can order syphilis testing online the moment you decide to get tested. If you’d like to schedule your syphilis testing over the phone, our care counselors are available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST. When ordering over the phone, our care counselors can set up an appointment for you at a local clinic as well as answer any questions you may have.
At Priority STD Testing, we strive to make regular STD testing affordable, especially for individuals without insurance. We do not accept any form of private or federal health insurance, with the exception of allowing the use of health savings account (HSA) cards for payment. We do this so that your test results are not communicated to your insurance company and are not included as part of your medical record.
Peace of Mind
The sooner you know you have syphilis, the sooner you can begin treatment and avoid serious related health issues. Getting tested is the only way to begin treatment and give you the peace of mind of knowing whether or not you have contracted the virus and can begin treatment. You can get your results within 24 to 72 hours of testing.
How Do I Order a Syphilis Test?
Ordering syphilis testing through Priority STD Testing is easy and can be done either online or by phone. You can call any time Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST, and our care counselors are ready to schedule your testing appointment and answer any questions you might have. Our online ordering system is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.