Syphilis is a common sexually-transmitted disease that afflicts both males and females. It is caused by a bacterium that is passed on from one person to another through:
- unprotected anal, vaginal, or oral sex
- from an infected pregnant female to her infant
The stages of Syphilis
There are four stages of syphilis, and today, we will look at what happens during the first stage or the primary stage.
People who contract the syphilis infection immediately enters the primary stage of syphilis. This period may last for a few weeks to a few months.
The Primary stage
The first symptom of the primary stage is a small sore called chancre. This symptom is painless and it appears on that part of the body where the syphilis bacterium entered. It will appear after about three to six weeks since initial exposure to the bacterium and will remain visible for the duration of the primary stage.
In males, the chancre typically appears on the penis. In females, it usually develops on the outer or inner part of the vagina or on the uterus opening.
In addition to the chancre, other symptoms that might occur in the primary stage of syphilis are inflammation of the lymph nodes, especially those close to or around the area where the chancre is.
The chancre will go away after around a month or so, even without any treatment. Once the chancre disappears, it might leave behind a small scar.
It is imperative that you get a syphilis test using a rapid syphilis test kit the moment you see a sore since it may signify that you might have contracted syphilis. The earlier you get tested, the earlier you can get treatment for this STD.