Syphilis Risks and Complications

If syphilis is left untreated, the disease can cause serious damage to the body especially to the heart and brain. Although medications can prevent the harm caused by a syphilis infection, it cannot undo the damage that has already been done.

Some complications that syphilis brings are:

  • syphilis risks and complicationsGumma: This is once complication that can develop in the tertiary stage of syphilis. Gummas are red bumps or tumors that are mostly found in the liver, but can also develop in the brain, heart, bones, genitals, skin, and other organs. Luckily, this complication can be treated with antibiotics.
  • Neurological complications: The possible complications in the nervous system are:
    • Stroke – the loss of brain function because of an interruption in the brain’s blood supply
    • Meningitis – inflammation of the meninges or membranes around the brain and spinal cord
    • Dementia – this is the general term for any mental disorder such as Alzheimer’s disease
    • Deafness
    • Blindness
  • Heart complications: The possible complications in the heart are:
    • Cardiac aneurysm – a bulge in the wall or lining of a vessel in the left ventricle of the heart
    • Aortitis – this a complication where the aorta is inflamed
  • HIV/AIDS: A person positive for syphilis have two to five times more risk of getting HIV which also leads to acquiring AIDS if not treated properly.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth: A pregnant mother who is infected with syphilis can pass on the infection to her unborn child if not treated right away. This is called congenital syphilis and it can increase the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth. This happens when syphilis bacteria spreads to the reproductive system of the mother and infect the baby during pregnancy. In some cases, the baby acquires congenital syphilis at birth. The common complications that the baby can get are swelling of the abdomen, enlarged liver, skin rash, sores in the body, pneumonia, and anemia. For some babies, symptoms of any complication do not initially show up. However, if syphilis is still not treated, complications can show up within a few months or years after birth.

To avoid these complications, Syphilis Treatment should be done right away.